Hyperloop One settles lawsuit over misused funds, nepotism & employee assault

Hyperloop One settles lawsuit over misused funds, nepotism & employee assault

A hangman’s noose, a romantic relationship, and a lot of money lining pockets were just some of the legal accusations that have now been settled.

Elon Musk’s brainchild and LA-based start-up, self-dubbed ‘the broadband for transportation’, has settled a messy legal battle between current and former executives. 

It began with Co-Founder and former Chief Technology Officer Brogan BamBrogan and several other employees suing Hyperloop One for abusing funds, breaching fiduciary duty, violating labour code, and assaulting an employee by placing a hangman’s noose on his desk.

The suit, filed in July this year, claimed that high-level executives used company money “to augment their personal brands, enhance their romantic lives, and line their pockets (and those of their family members),” according to CNBC.

Defendants included Co-Founder and Chairman, Shervin Pishevar, and CEO, Robert Lloyd.

The former was accused of dating the company’s PR and raising her salary from $15,000 to $40,000 per month, and hiring his brother as General Counsellor – despite his limited suitability for the role.

However, the charges were denied and a counter-suit was then filed from Hyperloop One executives that stated that BamBrogan and the other employees were manufacturing a rebellion “in a transparent attempt to seize control of the company.”

Their legal representative at the time told Tech Insider: “These employees tried to stage a coup and failed. They knew that the company was aware of their actions, and this lawsuit is their pre-emptive strike. The claims are pure nonsense and will be met with a swift and potent legal response.

“Frivolous lawsuits like this one have become all too common against start-ups that achieve breakthrough success. It is almost a cliché. It is also a measure of Hyperloop's success. The company continues to recruit top talent, secure significant funding from global investors and accelerate toward its technology milestones.”

The response from the plaintiffs legal party was: “The company’s statement is long on rhetoric and short on facts. The company’s spin is belied by the facts and the chronology of events, as laid out in great detail in the Complaint.

“Plaintiffs and seven other top employees quietly approached the Defendants in May with reasonable proposals to set the company back on the right track. They were met with hostility, threats of costly legal fights, and a noose. Defendants violated California law and they will be held accountable.”

But finally, the battling has ended.

The company has issued a statement saying: “Hyperloop One is pleased to announce that it has reached a confidential resolution of litigation with its former employees and looks forward to continuing to execute on its business plan.”

The counsel for the employees who filed the original suit wrote: “My clients are pleased to announce that they have reached a confidential resolution of litigation with their former employer and look forward to moving on with their future plans.”

It seems that the aforementioned future plans are likely to be a competitor, as confirmed by a statement sent to Business Insider: “We are planning to build rad shit with rad people, starting with our take on hyperloop. More to come in the near future.”


Image courtesy of Camilo Sanchez. 

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