Martin Tripp's story began in 2018 when he was suspected of disclosing the company's confidential information to third parties. Tesla accused Tripp of writing software to hack a production operating system, stealing trade secrets, and making false statements to reporters about stolen information.
Tripp played the part of the intimidated victim, innocent of what he was accused of, and the media backed it up. Tripp, the media, and many haters accused Tesla CEO Elon Musk of being cruel to an innocent person, and slandering a former employee.
The former employee filed a libel suit against Musk, but the federal judge in charge of the case dismissed it, ruling that he could not prove that the CEO acted with malicious intent.
In parallel with this, Tripp fought a war with those who supported Tesla, posting false statements and personal information of some of them on his own website, harming their privacy and emotional state.
As part of the deal, Tripp admitted to violating trade secret laws and confidentiality agreements, and pledged to pay Tesla $25,000 for having continued to disclose company information, despite being ordered by a judge to stop. Also, he agreed to pay $400,000 and to not disparage Tesla or any of its former or current executives or employees.
Martin Tripp to pay Tesla $425,000 & to not disparage Tesla or any of its former or current executives or employees 🙌— ALEX 🚀 (@ajtourville) December 1, 2020
A cautionary tale about letting TSLAQ ruin your life pic.twitter.com/FVv0bsEtat
According to court records, Tripp did not dispute Tesla's claims that he stole trade secrets, and admitted that his counterclaims were funded by a short-seller of Tesla shares. The document was signed by Tripp and a Tesla attorney.
The case is Tesla Inc v Tripp, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, No. 18-00296.
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.