Tesla Wins Lawsuit Against Former Employee And Whistleblower Martin Tripp
Fri, 09/18/2020 – 13:00
Tesla has won a court case against whistleblower Martin Tripp, who was fired from the company for hacking company data and transferring it to third parties.
Tripp was a former Tesla process engineering technician who claimed that Musk had defamed him after he revealed problems at the company’s Gigafactory and filed a whistleblower complaint with the SEC.
Tesla filed suit against former employee Tripp in 2018, alleging that he had admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s vehicle operating system, according to Reuters. Tripp then transferred several gigabytes of data to third parties and made false claims to the media, Tesla alleged.
Tripp had also sued Musk for defamation – but U.S. District Judge Miranda Du rejected Tripp’s arguments and granted Tesla’s motion to dismiss, according to Bloomberg. Tripp had failed to establish actual malice on the part of Elon Musk, the court said. The court also said that Tesla could not hold Tripp responsible for drops in the company’s stock price.
The U.S. district court of Nevada also said it will grant Tesla’s motions to seal the case “because compelling reasons support them, and they are unopposed.”
The court denied Tripp’s motion for leave to file an additional reply.
On the defamation claims, Musk skated by on hyperbolic speech and making false statements even where the judge found the substance to be more or less true. This includes the statements about supposed hacking, which the judge saw as muddy but not enough to be clearly false.
— PlainSite (@PlainSite) September 18, 2020