Tesla’s Many Dockets Of Litigation Keep Lawyers And Judges BusyAdvisor Perspectives
Elon Musk generates a near-constant barrage of news headlines because of his tweets. It’s a lot to keep up with.
Last week, he posted a Hitler meme, only to delete it hours later. On Wednesday, Musk claimed he’s been “building a case” against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which he accused of starting a fight with him that he will finish. The SEC likely would beg to differ with this retelling and point to Musk’s August 2018 tweets about taking Tesla private, which the agency alleged amounted to securities fraud.
But ignore the tweets. Look instead at the litigation Tesla is facing. Writing about tweets is easy compared to following all the filings in countless dockets in numerous courtrooms. Here’s a quick sample of legal matters, by topic:
Tesla’s driver-assistance system is part of several cases involving fatal crashes.
Litigation is ongoing in the case of Walter Huang, the Apple employee who died after his Model X crashed on Highway 101 in Silicon Valley in 2018. The family of Jeremy Banner, whose car crashed into a tractor trailer in Florida in 2019, also is suing; the case is slated to go to trial in the fall.
Dennis and Jenna Monet were driving across the country in a Model 3 in 2019 when they hit a parked fire truck on an Indiana highway. Jenna Monet died, while Dennis survived and is suing Tesla in federal court in San Francisco. The crash is one of 12 that led to the defect investigation the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started in August.
Last fall, a federal jury in San Francisco awarded Owen Diaz, a former contract worker at Tesla’s Fremont plant, $137 million in a racial discrimination case. Tesla has appealed the decision, and the presiding judge, William Orrick, has signaled he’ll shrink the award.
A California agency sued Tesla in Alameda County Superior Court this month, alleging “rampant racism” against Black workers at the Fremont plant and other facilities throughout the state.
Several other lawsuits alleging discrimination have been filed: Kaylen Barker, a former contract worker at Tesla’s factory in Lathrop, alleges a white coworker struck her with a hot grinding tool while calling her the n-word. Another case was filed on Feb. 18 by Marc Cage. He alleges that “virtually every restroom in Tesla’s Fremont facility contained writings or carvings of racist symbols or slurs, including swastikas and prominent displays of the n-word.”
Read the full article here by Dana Hull, Advisor Perspectives