Asked and Answered: Paul Mersino on the 'American Sniper' lawsuit


By Steve Thorpe

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in the appeal by the Estate of Chris Kyle in a lawsuit brought by Jesse Ventura known as the “American Sniper” lawsuit. Ventura brought a defamation claim against Kyle, the author of “American Sniper,” for comments made in the book. Ventura continued the litigation after Kyle was murdered. Ultimately, Ventura received an award of $500,000 in defamation damages and an additional $1.35 million on an Unjust Enrichment claim from Kyle’s widow and his estate. Butzel Long attorney Paul Mersino drafted an amicus brief in support of Kyle’s estate, arguing that “unjust enrichment” damages are improper in such a suit and that the award should be reversed. Mersino is a member of Butzel Long’s Commercial Litigation Group where he represents public and private companies, both as plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorney. He also handles appeals in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, and in federal courts.

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