Hothi accepted Musk’s offer to settle the case for $10,000 and one cent after Musk had previously stated that he would never settle an unjust case against his company.
Hothi claimed that Musk had falsely accused him of trespassing on Tesla’s factory property and endangering the lives of Tesla employees. The incident occurred in 2019 when Hothi was gathering information for a research report on the company.
The settlement marks a rare concession from Musk, who is known for his aggressive stance in legal disputes. It also serves as a reminder that even high-profile individuals and companies can face legal consequences for their actions.
In his statement, Hothi emphasized that his case was not about seeking money or fame, but rather about taking a stand for his rights. He expressed satisfaction with the outcome and suggested that the settlement vindicated his position.
In 2020, Randeep Hothi filed a defamation lawsuit against Elon Musk over comments the Tesla CEO made in an email to Aaron Greenspan, the founder of a legal information initiative called PlainSite. Musk suggested that Hothi had been violent towards Tesla employees, which Hothi took issue with.
Hothi and Tesla had been in conflict for some time before the lawsuit. Hothi had been taking pictures of Tesla vehicles at their facility, which had led to a contentious encounter with a Tesla security guard.
Tesla then filed a restraining order against Hothi, accusing him of endangering their employees by driving near them. Hothi has denied the allegations, including Tesla’s claim that his car hit an employee.
Around the same time, Musk had sent the email to Greenspan, accusing Hothi of actively harassing Tesla employees and almost killing them. Hothi felt that Musk’s allegations were false and defamatory, which led to his decision to file the lawsuit.
The settlement of the lawsuit for a small sum of $10,000 and one cent is a surprising outcome, given Musk’s reputation for fighting legal battles aggressively. The settlement could be seen as a concession by Musk and a reminder that high-profile individuals and companies can face legal consequences for their actions.
Musk, his attorney, and a representative for Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the settlement. The case highlights the importance of considering the potential consequences of statements made in public forums and the need for accurate reporting of events.
It also underscores the importance of seeking legal recourse when one’s reputation has been unjustly attacked.
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