Former employee Martin Tripp has agreed to pay Tesla $425,000 for leaking sensitive information to reporters about delays relating to the production of the Model 3.
Tripp was a process technician at Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada from 2017 to 2018. While employed by Tesla, Tripp sent emails to reports claiming Tesla would not be able to reach its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3’s per week.
After Tesla was able to discover the source of the information, the company fired Tripp. This led to a series of public insults between CEO Elon Musk and Tripp after Tesla filed a lawsuit against the former employee for releasing trade secrets. In response, Tripp countersued Musk for defamation.
In a proposed settlement agreement release Monday, Tripp admits to leaking the sensitive information to reporters, and will have to pay a $400,000 penalty and an additional $25,000 in sanctions.
Martin Tripp to pay Tesla $425,000 & to not disparage Tesla or any of its former or current executives or employees 🙌
A cautionary tale about letting TSLAQ ruin your life pic.twitter.com/FVv0bsEtat
— ALEX 🚀 (@ajtourville) December 1, 2020
In addition Tripp has to destroy all Tesla information he still has in his posession from when he worked at the the company, he is not allowed to publicly disparage Tesla or any of its current or former employees or executives, and is not allowed on any Tesla property at any time.
Tripp’s counterclaim was dismissed, with the judge saying he was unable to prove Musk acted with actual malice.