Tesla has dropped a lawsuit against a prominent short seller and critic of the company. According to a lawsuit, Tesla has hit an employee in his car, as was noted on Friday evening at the Supreme Court of Alameda County. The company's decision to drop the case comes two weeks after the judge asked Tesla to provide evidence to substantiate his allegations.
Tesla says that there is video and audio evidence that would do just that. However, in a letter to the court on Friday evening provided by Tesla The Verge the company's lawyers disagreed with the judge's order to produce the evidence.
Tesla's attorney team argued that the submission of the evidence would reveal information about the employees involved in the case who were "never intended for public consumption." The company's lawyers also claim that employees have been exposed to "unwanted publicity and online harassment" original complaint.
The company declined to comment and referred The Verge instead to the Friday submission.
In April, Tesla called on the court (and received) an injunction against a prominent critic, previously known only by the Twitter handle @skabooshka. When Tesla applied for the injunction, she informed the court that the man holding the account was a California-based man named Randeep Hothi.
Earlier this month, Hothi tweeted photos that he had made of a corporate Model 3 that Tesla apparently filmed for its upcoming "Autonomy Investor Day". Hothi claimed that he had seen the driver dropping speed limits on the spot and implied that Tesla could misrepresent the footage during the event.
Tesla informed the court that Hothi "prosecuted, harassed and threatened" the Model 3 employees. The company claimed that it "pursued these employees on the public highway for about 35 minutes, driving them in various ways, alongside, and behind them, and dangerously close to the vehicle."
Hothi was sent to the plant several times before arriving in April Tesla in Fremont, California, claimed the company in its original filing. (Most files are available here.) In August 2018, Tesla found an Arlo surveillance camera on a power pylon outside of the factory, and an Arlo customer service representative noted that In January 2019, Tesla announced that they had found a surveillance camera hidden in a supply box in a factory parking lot, and that the company's surveillance cameras finally caught Hothi removing it.
In February 2019, Tesla Hothi was in his em car in one of the parking lots of the factory. Two security guards approached him, one took pictures and asked him to leave. Tesla said Hothi did not fold down his window and instead "drove his car out of the parking lot quickly and recklessly". The company also said Hothi hit one of these employees with his car.
Hothi is one of many people who hold short positions with Tesla, meaning that he essentially bets that the company's stock price will fall by a certain date. He has posted photos and videos of Tesla employee parking lots in the past to assess if the company is working full production.
Hothi and other short sellers have also photographed parking lots on which Tesla keeps inventories that they see as an indicator of the company's demand (or lack) for cars.
Elton Musk, CEO of Tesla, for years mocked the people who short sell Tesla shares, and often promised to "burn" their positions by announcing good news. But the more the musk resists, the more the community seems to grow. This happened especially after the debacle of last year, in which the financing was secured. Some of the better-known short films said they followed Tesla closely.
You use the Twitter cash tag to organize $ TSLAQ and publish research on a website with the same name. The community quickly rallied around Hothi when the injunction hit, and a formerly pseudonymous poster even launched a GoFundMe for Hothi, which now outshines $ 100,000. (This poster was @MontanaSkeptic, aka Lawrence Fossi, whose identity was revealed after Musk had summoned his boss to complain.)
In response to Tesla's allegations, Hothi attorneys wrote in a May lawsuit that he was "a citizen journalist is whose research he has hired and data has revealed inconsistencies in the allegations. Tesla and his CEO have noted disagreements regarding the company's production processes, technological abilities, financial health and how it deals with employees and customers of the company has gained wide public support for it.
Hothi's attorneys said Tesla painted "a gruesome picture" of her client, arguing that the company "has a history of using the legal system to silence its critics. "They cite the example of Martin Tripp, a former Tesla employee who became a whistleblower and was indicted by Tesla for alleged hacks of corporate systems and theft of trade secrets. (Tripp has since countered and accused him of defamation.) They also pointed to harassment Hothi suffered as a result of the injunction, including the fact that he was labeled a terrorist. In 2018, Musk even sent an e-mail to Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess about Hothi after finding out that his brother works for the German automaker.
Hothi's lawyers also alleged that Tesla security officials made conflicting statements The incident in February and none of his actions during the April 3 encounter with the Model 3 qualified as stalking or violence.
In May, Hothi's solicitors summoned Tesla to submit all the evidence to the court. On July 1, the court partially upheld the request and ordered Tesla to submit "limited and targeted" photo, audio or video evidence specifically relating to the February and April incidents.
Tesla attempted to counteract this by claiming that the records contained "confidential business information". Hothi's attorney team responded by offering Tesla confidential information. However, on Friday, Tesla's attorney team told the court that it would not provide this evidence as the company dropped the case altogether. Submitting the evidence to the court would have jeopardized the security and privacy of the people involved in the case, the lawyers said.
Tesla also said that it believes Hothi "clearly announced not to enter his property and that Tesla would take appropriate measures in the future to protect its employees" and that it would "endeavor its employees through others Protecting, doubling is meant to mean. "
Gill Sperlein, Hothi's lawyer, said in an email to The Verge that" Tesla has not filed this lawsuit to protect his employees, but to Mr. Whatever it was on the tapes they did not want to produce would have demonstrated the first point. "Sperlein told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend that He sent a letter to Tesla informing the company that Hothi is planning to "initiate a malicious prosecution" and asks Tesla to keep all the evidence against him.  Correction: Musk called Lawrence Fossi's boss, but Fossi was not fired. The post has been updated.