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Telsa is suing an ex-employee for $167m for running his mouth off


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THERE'S RARELY A DAY that goes by when Tesla or its CEO Elon Musk hasn't done something hyperbolic or just plain odd; case in point, the company is trying to sue an ex-employee $167m due to sabotage.

Former worker Martin Tripp is the target of Tesla's vitriol, according to CNBC, as recent legal filings are aiming to sue him for effectively running his mouth to press about Tesla's operations and making allegedly false claims.

Tripp had made claims that the electric car maker was using flawed battery manufacturing processes and was obscuring important information from shareholders. He also apparently noted that damaged battery modules in the Tesla Model 3 posed a risk to drivers.

Unsurprisingly, this type of chat to the press isn't something Tesla was happy about. Tripp was labelled by the company as a disgruntled ex-employee and never one to mince his words, Musk called him a "saboteur" in company-wide emails. That being said, attempting to sue one person to the tune of $167m is quite a reaction.

Tripp's attorney Robert D Mitchell told CNBC that the amount Tesla was trying to sue his client for was "absurd".

"The purported damage amount claimed by Tesla relates to supposed dips in Tesla's stock price by virtue of the information Mr. Tripp provided to the press last summer," said Mitchell.

However, in an interim case management report published on 27 November, apparently Tripp's attorneys are aiming to depose Musk and 10 other people involved in Tesla. But Tesla isn't having any of it and is refusing to make Musk available for such actions, as well as try and limit how many people Tripp's lawyers are gunning for.

"Tesla has objected to Mr Tripp's desire to take more than ten depositions...In this case, where Mr Tripp is being sued for more than $167,000,000 and has asserted counterclaims against Tesla, more than ten depositions is certainly reasonable and appropriate," Tesla's lawyers wrote in the report.

The whole situation looks like quite a mess and arguably a pointless exercise. But then again one expects stuff from a company funded by Musk; just look at how the Boring Company made a bloody consumer-grade flamethrower. µ

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