Tesla Wants Court Approval of Defamation Case Victory

A former engineer had sued the automaker over her termination.

Tesla won an arbitration case with a fired employee, and now, the electric vehicle company wants a U.S. court to affirm it. 

Tesla’s petition, filed in San Francisco federal court, is a response to a dispute between the automaker and a former engineer.

The engineer, Cristina Balan, said in 2017 that Tesla falsely accused her of criminal conduct and fired her for questioning contracting practices and defective floormats.

In a 2019 lawsuit, Balan claimed she was fired after she sent an email to CEO Elon Musk which accused Tesla of giving contracts based on friendships and with no regard for price or quality, Reuters reports.

She also warned that the floormats in Tesla’s Model S could curl up beneath the pedals. 

An arbitrator rejected Balan’s claims on Nov. 3. 

Tesla said Balan’s was fired for working on a personal project on company time and for illegally recording conversations with colleagues. 

Balan can now challenge the arbitrator’s decision and said she would “due to fraud, corruption, bias … and manifest disregard for the law.”

It is quite the falling out between Tesla and Balan, considering that Tesla previously praised Balan’s work, which included a battery pack design.

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