Tesla wins long-standing feud with ex-employee with sizable settlement

(Credit: Tesla Owners Silicon Valley/Twitter)

Tesla has won its long-standing feud with ex-Gigafactory employee Martin Tripp, who once broke trade-secret violations by telling reporters about delays in Model 3 production. Tripp will be responsible for paying the electric automaker the sum of $400,000, a court filing revealed on Monday evening.

The settlement was apart of a proposed settlement that Tesla had originally filed two years ago. The electric automaker had accused Tripp of illegally revealing trade secrets about the company’s initial manufacturing efforts of the Model 3 sedan, which was described as “production hell” by CEO Elon Musk.

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Tripp, who was a process technician at the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, from 2017 to 2018, was forced to admit to violating trade secret laws and confidentiality agreements and promised to pay the automaker $25,000 for revealing information about the company after being ordered to stop by a judge. Tripp had revealed that Tesla would likely be unable to reach a production capacity of 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week to reporters through email. As a result, Tesla fired Tripp when the company had uncovered his conduct, and he traded public barbs with Musk.

Tripp was described as a “saboteur,” and Tesla accused him of “hacking into the company’s confidential and trade secret information” while making “false claims” about the Gigafactory’s work conditions to make them seem much more dangerous than they were in reality.

After the name-calling took place, Tripp countersued Musk for defamation. A federal judge threw the case out because Tripp had failed to show that Musk had acted with actual malice, Bloomberg said.

Tesla won its case against Tripp in September after the ex-employee’s actions were deemed to be a violation of the Nevada Computer Crimes Law because he did not have the authorization to obtain information that he had accessed.

Tesla wins long-standing feud with ex-employee with sizable settlement
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