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What just happened? Former Tesla employee Martin Tripp was let go several months ago after he allegedly hacked into the company's databases and leaked incriminating information. After his firing, Tesla was quick to sue Tripp, but now he's fighting back by filing a countersuit alleging that company CEO Elon Musk has defamed him.
It seems Tesla's headaches aren't limited to its CEO's questionable behavior on social media or its recent issues with Autopilot. Martin Tripp, a former company employee who was fired and then sued, has struck back at his once-employer with a lawsuit of his own.
If you're not up to date with the situation, here's a summary: Back in June, Tesla filed a suit against Tripp alleging that he snagged confidential company information and shared it with "Third parties."
This information reportedly contained details that didn't cast Tesla's Model 3 manufacturing process in the best light. Among other things, Tripp claims his findings revealed that 1,100 damaged batteries were installed in Model 3 cars, all of which still shipped out to customers and are likely on the road today.
...Tripp's lawsuit against Tesla seeks a whopping $1 million in damages, and is based on his belief that CEO Elon Musk defamed him...
At any rate, Tripp's lawsuit against Tesla seeks a whopping $1 million in damages and is based on his belief that CEO Elon Musk defamed him in recent statements.
These statements include Musk's claim that Tripp had threatened him via email, as well as claims that Tripp had told a friend he was going to "shoot up" Tesla's Gigafactory. Tripp's lawyers claim the latter event never occurred.
"Mr. Tripp never stated, to a 'friend' or otherwise, that he was 'going to ... shoot people' at the Gigafactory or that he was going to 'shoot ... up' the Gigafactory," Tripp's countersuit reads.
Naturally, legal assistance for a lawsuit against one of the most prominent EV makers around doesn't come cheap. As such, Tripp has set up a GoFundMe campaign, seeking $500,000 to cover his legal bill. So far, the fundraising effort has earned Tripp roughly $16,000 in donations.
It's tough to say who is in the right here, and it will likely be some time before a judge answers that question for us. In the meantime, though, we'll be keeping an eye on the situation and we'll update this article if either party reveals new information.