Ex-worker to pay Tesla $25,000 in attorneys’ fees. Here's why

Tesla had sued Martin Tripp in June 2018, claiming the former process-engineering technician at the company’s battery factory in Nevada leaked information to a reporter.
By : Bloomberg
| Updated on: 15 Aug 2020, 09:09 AM
File photo of Tesla logo. (REUTERS)
File photo of Tesla logo. (REUTERS)
File photo of Tesla logo. (REUTERS)
File photo of Tesla logo.

Former Tesla Inc. technician Martin Tripp acknowledged that he intentionally violated a protective order when he announced on Twitter that he’d fired his attorneys and posted court documents and depositions online.

Not long after an online hearing Friday, Tripp posted a thread of contrition on Twitter, apologizing to the judge for publicly maligning her and saying he would “tone it down a bit for a while."

Tripp, embroiled in a legal battle with Tesla over the alleged theft of trade secrets, agreed he wouldn’t re-upload or re-post the prohibited information and would owe Tesla $500 per day if he discloses anything covered by the protective order.

Similar Cars

Find More Cars
Hyundai Kona Electric (HT Auto photo)
Hyundai Kona Electric
cc | Electric | Automatic
₹23.79 - 23.98 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Facelift (HT Auto photo)
Maruti Suzuki Baleno Facelift
1197 cc | Petrol | Manual
₹6.5 - 10 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Kia Sonet (HT Auto photo)
Kia Sonet
1197 cc | Petrol | Manual | 18.4 kmpl
₹6.79 - 13.55 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Maruti Suzuki Dzire (HT Auto photo)
Maruti Suzuki Dzire
1197 cc | Petrol | Manual | 23.26 kmpl
₹5.89 - 9.09 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Tata Nexon (HT Auto photo)
Tata Nexon
1199 cc | Petrol | Manual | 17.4 kmpl
₹7 - 13.24 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price

US Magistrate Judge Carla Baldwin in Reno, Nevada, also ordered Tripp to remove links, postings and “any other means or mechanisms" by which the documents can be accessed.

Tripp also must pay the electric-car maker $25,000 in attorneys’ fees within 60 days, file a note of compliance with the court within a week, and abstain from making any reference to the documents covered by the protective order.

Tripp’s former lawyers will hold the confidential documents until the judge rules on the motions for summary judgment.

The sanctions came after Baldwin, who at the outset of the hearing granted the request of Tripp’s attorneys to withdraw as counsel, took the conversations private for “a little impromptu settlement conference." The hearing reconvened more than an hour later, and Baldwin entered the agreement’s details onto the record.

Tesla sued Tripp in June 2018, claiming the former process-engineering technician at the company’s battery factory in Nevada leaked information to a reporter. Tripp, who now lives in Hungary, filed a counterclaim saying Tesla had smeared him. On Aug. 7, Tripp took to Twitter to announce that he’d fired his attorneys and began posting court documents and depositions online.

He linked to the documents again on Twitter Thursday and posted a video on YouTube railing against Tesla, and the judge. The YouTube video was made private shortly after he posted it, and he deleted the Twitter post.

“You have violated the protective order that was placed in this case," Baldwin said to Tripp at Friday’s hearing. “I have never seen anything like it. I don’t think any of my colleagues have seen anything like it."

The judge acknowledged that disclosures by Tripp come “from a place of frustration," but warned him about the dangers of revealing personally identifiable information about others involved.

First Published Date: 15 Aug 2020, 09:07 AM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city