Elon Musk may add the $7.8 million severance paid by Twitter to the whistleblower as a reason for pulling out of the deal, a judge ruled on Thursday.
Elon Musk can use the $7.8 million severance paid by Twitter to whistleblower Peiter Zatko to argue that the termination of the buyout deal is justified. The decision was made by Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick on Thursday and was an important step in the process of proving foul play on the part of Twitter.
The severance was paid to the whistleblower on June 28, but the social media company did not disclose it to Musk. This move, which he became aware of only in September, is a violation of the terms of the deal and therefore should be considered as a legal basis for its termination. The judge's approval of the inclusion of this as a reason indicates that this is an extremely important detail that will have a significant impact on the decision of the case.
Peter Zatko is the former head of security for Twitter. In a statement in June with regulators, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), he raised questions about severe shortcomings in the social media company's handling of users' personal data, including running out-of-date software and that executives had withheld information about breaches and lack of protections for user data.
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