Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) gets sued by founder Martin Eberhard

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and CEO Elon Musk is getting sued by the founder of the company, Martin Eberhard. Eberhard is suing Musk for libel, slander, breach of contract, and several other charges. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) was co-founded by Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning. Eberhard was ousted from the company in 2007 by Musk.

Ever since then Eberhard claims that Musk defamed him and attempted to take credit for the founding of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Eberhard also claims that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) held back his severance pay and stock options after agreeing to leave the company.

Eberhard also said that Musk withheld Eberhard’s own personal Roadster vehicle. Eberhard paid for the vehicle and was supposed to receive the second-production Roadster as part of the Series Production. However, Eberhard claims that Musk gave the second Roadster to one of his personal friends. Eberhard reportedly had to wait two years to receive his car and it supposedly was ran into the back of a truck before given to him.

Elon Musk was brought into Tesla Motors as Eberhard sought funding from the company. Elon Musk opened up his wallet to Tesla Motors since he was flush with cash from PayPal’s sale to eBay. However, Musk took control of the company and became CEO.

Tesla will be filing counterclaims. Here is a statement that Tesla Motors sent to AutoMobileMag:

“This lawsuit is an unfair personal attack and, more importantly, paints an inaccurate picture of Tesla’s history. This lawsuit is a fictionalized account of Tesla’s early years — it’s twisted and wrong, and we welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. As the media have already covered exhaustively, Tesla’s full board of directors unanimously fired Martin shortly after discovering that the cost of the car was more than twice what Martin portrayed it to be at the time. Incidentally, Tesla will likely be filing counterclaims and in the process present an accurate account of the company’s history. And it goes without saying that it will not have any effect on Tesla’s considerable momentum or business strategy going forward.”

[Source: AutoMobileMag]