Judge Orders Lindell to Pay Contest Winner $5M

MyPillow founder says he'll appeal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2024 11:27 AM CST
Lindell Must Pay $5M to Contest Winner, Judge Rules
Mike Lindell speaks to reporters outside federal court in Washington in 2021.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

A federal judge on Wednesday affirmed a $5 million arbitration award against MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell in favor of a software engineer who challenged data that Lindell said proves China interfered in the 2020 US presidential election and tipped the outcome to Joe Biden. Lindell said he plans to appeal, the AP reports. Asked if he can afford to pay the money, he pointed out that the breach-of-contract lawsuit was filed against one of his companies, Lindell Management LLC, and not against him personally. "Of course we're going to appeal it. This guy doesn't have a dime coming," Lindell said.

Lindell, a promoter of false claims that voting machines were manipulated to steal the election, launched his "Prove Mike Wrong Challenge" in August 2021. After a panel of contest judges that included a Lindell attorney declined to declare Robert Zeidman the winner, he filed for arbitration under the contest rules. A panel of three arbitrators last April unanimously ordered Lindell to pay Zeidman $5 million. In Wednesday's ruling, US District Judge John Tunheim expressed concern about how the panel interpreted what he called a "poorly written contract," but he said courts have only limited authority to overrule arbitration awards. He ordered Lindell to pay up with interest within 30 days.

Lindell also is the subject of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems in the District of Columbia that says he falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election. And he's also the target of a defamation lawsuit in Minnesota by a different voting machine company, Smartmatic. Lindell has said he and MyPillow are struggling financially. Fox News, which had been one of his biggest advertising platforms, stopped running MyPillow commercials in January in a payment dispute. Two law firms that had been defending him against lawsuits by Dominion and Smartmatic quit last fall.

(More Mike Lindell stories.)

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