Martin Tripp, former process technician at Tesla, has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a lawsuit, wherein he stands accused of tipping reporters on the alleged production inefficiencies and delays at the American electric car giant’s facility.
Tripp was a technician at Tesla’s Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada. Part of the settlement has been approved by Chief Judge Miranda Du from the federal court in Reno.
The conflict arose two years ago, in June 2018, when Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla, fired the employee and then proceeded to sue him.
Tripp worked for Tesla between 2017-2018 and proclaimed himself as whistleblower. He reportedly created software to hack into Tesla’s manufacturing operating system, stealing sensitive data and sharing false information with reporters.
He alleged that Tesla suffered from production inefficiencies and that delays were happening in delivering 5,000 Model 3 cars per week. Earlier, in September, the judge had dismissed his case when Musk accused Tripp of sabotage, in an e-mail. Tripp, on his part, had made counter allegations that Musk had acted with malicious intent, but this claim was disregarded by the court.
As per the settlement, Tripp will not be contesting Tesla’s charges accusing him of stealing trade secrets. In fact, he even admitted that the counterclaims were funded by a short-seller of Tesla stock.
He has now promised to pay Tesla $25,000 after admitting he violated trade secret laws and confidentiality agreements. He further admitted to leaking information even after being ordered to stop by a judge.