(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk’s allegedly defamatory tweets calling a British cave rescuer a "pedo guy" can’t be just be pooh-poohed as mere opinion, Vernon Unsworth, the caver who sued the Tesla Inc. chief executive last year, said in a request to a judge to deny Musk’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Musk can’t escape liability by arguing that his tweets are just his opinion because Tesla has said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Musk’s Twitter account is "a medium to communicate facts," Unsworth said in a court filing Friday. And, if they are meant as factual statements, Musk can be sued for defamation.

"Musk asks this court to openly sanction one-sided Twitter warfare, where no one is safe because nobody can be held accountable and all reputations are at grave risk," Unsworth said. "Lest the floodgates open, the court must deny Musk’s motion to dismiss."

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Wollman at ewollman@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider

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