A judge has ruled Elon Musk will not have to testify in a lawsuit that alleges Tesla’s Autopilot software is “dangerous” and caused the death of Florida resident Jeremy Banner.
Lawyers for the plaintiff had argued that questioning Musk was critical, claiming that only the CEO could answer why Tesla would “allow this dangerous technology to be used on a roadway where the car knows it’s going to fail.”
This was despite having already questioned several high-level Tesla engineers, including Christopher ‘CJ’ Moore, who now works for Apple.
Tesla had countered by saying that Musk did not have any unique knowledge of the issues in this case, and that questioning him would simply be harassment as the engineers have already answered the relevant questions.
Florida Circuit Court Judge Janis Keyser agreed with Tesla, explaining that her ruling was based on the “extensive depositions” of the engineers and a written declaration by Musk. (via Bloomberg)
The case will now go to trial in Palm Beach County on September 20, 2022, marking the first time Autopilot will be put on trial for causing a fatal crash.
Banner was 50 years old when his Tesla Model 3 crashed into a semi-trailer truck that was crossing a Florida highway in 2019.
The case is Banner v. Tesla Inc., 50-2019-CA-0099662, Circuit Court of 15th Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida.