Tripp, the embattled former Tesla
accused of trying
to sabotage the company
, has filed a countersuit, seeking at
least $1 million in damages after he said the company and CEO Elon
smeared him in the media.
Tripp's lawsuit in federal court in Reno, Nev., is the latest in a
series of public accusations and legal actions involving the former
process engineering technician and Tesla
After Musk in June accused Tripp of stealing trade secrets and hacking
Tesla's manufacturing operating system, Tesla
in federal court in Nevada. Tripp later filed
a whistleblower complaint with the SEC
Tesla was misleading investors about production numbers, was
installing unsafe, damaged batteries into Model
s and was engaging in wasteful production practices
inconsistent with its mission to lead on environmental sustainability.
In his newest filing, Tripp and his lawyer are seeking to dismiss
Tesla's original suit. They reject claims that he hacked into Tesla
systems and that he registered his concerns because he didn't receive
a promotion, as Musk claimed. The countersuit also cites a Tesla
spokesperson's claim that the company had received a call from a
friend of Tripp saying that Tripp would come to the Gigafactory to
"shoot the place up." Police later investigated and said there was no
threat. It said Tripp and his wife and young child were forced to
relocate, he has lost weight and had trouble sleeping and has
experienced marital relationship problems.
"Since his employment with Counterdefendent ended, Mr. Tripp has
received numerous threats to his personal safety, which, upon
information and belief, have been stirred by the foregoing false and
defamatory statements published about him by Counterdefendent," the
complaint reads. "Mr. Tripp has even been followed and trailed on
multiple occasions by unidentified individuals."
Tripp is a former Naval aviation electronics engineer who was assigned
to work on the production lines at Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada for
the battery module and the stator, where he had direct responsibility
for reporting scrap and non-conforming material volumes to superiors.
He claims that the company began generating enormous amounts of scrap
waste beginning in March, when it was scrambling to increase
production of the Model
to 5,000 units per week, and emailed Musk
directly in May with his concerns.
He claims the following day he was reassigned to the battery module
production line, where he said he continued to witness troubling
practices. He claims that the manufacturing operating system shows
that from January to mid-May, between $150 million and $200 million
worth of battery module parts had been categorized as scrap.
Tesla hasn't commented on the countersuit. The company is set to
report its second-quarter earnings later Wednesday.