Former Tesla worker to pay $400,000 to end lawsuit over tips to reporters

by SpeedLux
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A former Tesla Inc factory worker will pay Elon Musk’s automaker about $400,000 after it accused him of tipping reporters about alleged production inefficiencies and delays, a court filing revealed.

The payment by Martin Tripp, a former process technician at automaker’s Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada, was part of a settlement disclosed on Monday and authorized that day by Chief Judge Miranda Du of the federal court in Reno.

Tesla and Musk became involved in a public dispute with Tripp in June 2018, when it fired and then took legal action against him.

The Palo Alto, California-based company alleged Tripp of writing software to hack into its manufacturing operating system, stealing trade secrets, and making misleading claims to reporters about information he stole.

Du has said Tripp described himself as a whistleblower who had identified production inefficiencies and delays in Tesla’s effort to produce 5,000 Model 3 cars per week.

In September, the judge rejected Tripp’s defamation counterclaim over statements from Tesla, including an email to workers where Musk accused him of “sabotage,” saying Tripp did not show actual malice.

According to a court filing describing the settlement, Tripp did not contest the automaker’s claims that he stole trade secrets, and admitted that his counterclaims were funded by a short seller of Tesla stock.

The filing was signed by Tripp and a Tesla lawyer.

The case is called Tesla Inc v Tripp, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, No. 18-00296.

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