Thursday , July 7 2022

Is a researcher or a very meticulous researcher? A US judge will decide



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Randeep Hothi is a stalker, a harasser, an author of violence and an imminent threat? Or is it a modest academic who participates in legal investigations if not Orthodox for their investments?

Is Teson Elon Musk an intimidator who uses his account of wealth, power and Twitter to silence the criticism? Or is it simply trying to protect your employees from possible damage?

These questions are made to a US court, where Tesla seeks a permanent restraining order against Hothi.

Tesla claims that Hothi hit a Tesla security employee with his car on the company's assembly plant in California, and later threatened the workers in a Tesla 3 model that was testing technology without drivers on the road Road to Interstate 880 between Fremont and the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge.

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Hothi, a Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan, and a Tesla critic living near the Fremont plant, says Tesla is lying to dirty it and close it.

The case lasted for Hothi last week, when Judge Jeffrey Brand supported a lawyer's request that Tesla video publications say they are relevant to the case. Brand ordered Tesla to return the videos, along with photographs and recordings of relevant audio, on July 16.

Tesla asked the judge to refuse the media from future audiences. The judge did not want to do it.

Hothi is part of a group of short sellers of Twitter and other Tesla critics known as $ TslaQ. The participants control Tesla for defects in their business model and evidence that the price of the company's shares is much greater than it should be, based on the business foundations. Many of them, including Hothi, have opted for the fall in the price of shares, which has been doing, for the most part, recently. It closed Monday to 230.34 US dollars, 1.2 percent a day and 27 percent more.

Another member of the group, Lawrence Fossi, an investment manager who goes through Twitter, manages Montana Skeptic, has created a GoFundMe page for Hothi's legal expenses. So far, it has raised $ 118,000.

According to Hothi's court response to Tesla's accusations, "Tesla has a history of using the legal system to silence his criticisms." The document pointed to the widely publicized story of Martin Tripp, an old employee who became a whistleblower, and said that Tesla knew how to manufacture and sell bad batteries consciously. "The CEO of Tesla, Musk, set out to destroy it," the court's response said.

Is Teson Elon Musk an intimidator who uses his account of wealth, power and Twitter to silence the criticism?

JAE C HONG / AP

Is Teson Elon Musk an intimidator who uses his account of wealth, power and Twitter to silence the criticism?

Tesla sued Tripp for 167 million US dollars. An anonymous interlocutor had contacted the company to say that Tripp was planning a mass shootout, a report that was sent to the police. Done with Bloomberg Businessweek"The public relations department of Tesla spread rumors that Tripp was possibly homicide and had been part of a great conspiracy," and the company dismissed another petitioner, Tesla's former security manager, Sean Gouthro.

Tesla said at the time that the accusations related to Tripp were "fake and sensationalist." The case is pending in the US District Court in Nevada.

After the disclosure of Fossi's identity last year, Musk called the head of Fossi and threatened a lawsuit. And the request of the Hothi court presented the case of the regional manager of Tesla, Adam Williams, who informed the superiors that the employees consciously sold the defective cars; The paper says Williams was downgraded and later fired. He sued Tesla last year. Tesla said at that time that Williams was fired only for reduced performance and that his claim had "no merit" and "is also in contradiction with the fact that we consider customer satisfaction of any car brand to be more satisfying."

Musk, openly contemptuous for Twitter's short sellers, can be especially sensitive to the criticisms of the company's autonomous driving technology, a key strategic program whose successes and failures will affect the price of the company's shares.

Hothi had kept an eye on production at Tesla's assembly plant, counting cars that matched Tesla's production claims. He often took photographs on the exterior of the plant and, sometimes, placed a photographic camera (publicly owned, he said) to remotely record the activity. He published his observations under the management of Twitter of Skabooshka.

On February 21, Hothi sat in his car in an area accessible to the public from the parking lot at the Fremont plant, near a Tesla sales showroom. When you face a security guard, Tesla declared to court papers that Hothi "fled the scene" and "hit the security employee of Tesla, Tyler James with his car ", resulting in" minor injuries. "

The Fremont police checked the case and concluded that it did not comply with the elements of a success, according to the legal files filed by Hothi's lawyer.

The police sent the case to the prosecutor's office in the county district, which refused to process, stating that there was not enough evidence that Hothi hit James with his car, according to court records. Hothi never returned to Fremont's plant after that day, his lawyer said.

On April 16, according to Tesla, three employees sat on a model 3 mounted with camera equipment while testing the autonomous driving of the car. The company declared in court statements that Hothi "chased" employees for 35 minutes, "going ahead, next to and behind them, and moved dangerous near the vehicle," perhaps to provoke a response of the autonomous car system. Employees feared that Hothi's "roadmap" would cause a collision and harm them. "Hothi said these statements are false.

In a court response, Hothi's lawyer said that "Randeep critically investigated Tesla's extravagant claims" about the capabilities of his "self-directed" systems.

"I did not move any vehicle at all," Hothi said in an interview. He assumed that the video material that was shot that day would be used as marketing material, said Mr. Gill Sperlein, Hothi's lawyer. Hothi tried to record the car trip to compare it with any edited version that Tesla could show in the future.

After this incident, Tesla requested and obtained a temporary restraining order against Hothi.

Sperlein cited the camera system mounted on the test car and the eight cameras typically installed in all Teslas to enable autonomous driving, in its request that the company provide images for use as a test.

The case is being tried in a court specialized in the harassment of work and in other cases of requests for restriction of orders. On the same day that Hothi hearings were initiated, Judge Brand heard a case related to an argument between a bus driver and a retired bus driver that ended with sticks, and another that meant a A long dispute between two old neighbors in which his path was launched. Sticking like a gun and the other pulled out a knife and promised to "open up like a fish." To accelerate these cases, the legal discovery, the process of gathering evidence on the other side, is usually not allowed.

In the case of Tesla, however, the judge made an exception, writing that, despite the objections of the company based on confidentiality and privacy, among other things, "the production of these recordings would impose a minimum load on the parties ".

He added: "If any party were in possession of these recordings and decided not to submit them to the trial, then the court may lean to negatively influence."

Hothi said: The times He thinks there is no video that shows him how to drive the way Tesla is claiming.

Tesla did not respond to comment requests.

The next judicial hearing will be set for July 26.

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