Tesla is seeking in excess of $167 million in a lawsuit against former employee Martin Tripp, CNBC reports.
Tripp worked at Tesla’s Gigafactory from October 2017 until June this year. The automaker claims that Tripp stole records of its intellectual property and installed damaging software on its computers.
Additionally, Tesla asserted in a civil complaint against Tripp filed in federal court that he had “admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system (‘MOS’) and to transferring several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities.”
While Tripp has admitted his actions, he has called himself a whistleblower for exposing shady practices. He says that Tesla installed damaged batteries in new Model 3 cars delivered to customers, has misrepresented the number of vehicles it’s made, and has been improperly storing potentially hazardous scrap material.
Tripp’s attorneys for had sought to depose Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and more than 10 other people from the automaker. Tesla has refused to make Musk available and wants to limit the number of people deposed.
Attorney Robert D. Mitchell, who represents Tripp, says Tesla’s damage claims are “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.”