A federal judge has thrown out a defamation case against Tesla and Elon Musk by former Nevada Gigafactory employee Martin Tripp. After Tesla sued Tripp for $167m in damages for illegally exporting data and leaking it out to reporters in June 2018, Tripp filed a defamation lawsuit against the automaker. However, Judge Miranda Du found that Tripp failed to prove that Tesla acted out of malice.
- Du dismissed a claim from Tesla that Tripp’s leak caused a $167m decline in the company’s market value.
- But he said that Tesla's claim that Tripp violated Nevada's computer crimes law can proceed.
- Tripp maintains that in his case against Tesla, he acted as a “whistleblower.”
- Tesla claims that Tripp wrote software that hacked into the automaker’s manufacturing OS and shared stolen data with news reporters, specifically Linette Lopez of Business Insider.
- Tripp is representing himself. He fired his lawyers after it was revealed that his legal team was being paid by a short seller.