Hyperloop One Settles Lawsuit
Hyperloop One has settled its lawsuit with former employees, including co-founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Brogan BamBrogan.
The lawsuit filed by former Hyperloop One employees alleged retaliation in violation of California Labor Code § 1102.5, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, breach of contract, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and breach of fiduciary duty.
The lawsuit specifically alleged that Hyperloop One’s co-founder and Executive Chairman, Shervin Pishevar, began dating the company’s PR vendor and increased her compensation from $15,000 to $40,000 a month, which was more than any other employee was paid. Pishevar terminated the arrangement when their relationship ended. Similarly, Pishevar hired his brother, a personal injury and criminal defense attorney, as Hyperloop One’s General Counsel, granting him a salary and stock options larger than any of the engineers.
Hyperloop One and defendants including Pishevar and CEO Robert Lloyd responded by filing a $250 million countersuit, claiming that BamBrogan had failed in his attempt at taking over the company.
The details of the settlement have not been publicly disclosed; however, Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd commented on the settlement in an employee memo.
Lloyd noted that Hyperloop One was pleased with the settlement and moving forward, “I am pleased to inform you that we have resolved the lawsuit that was filed this summer against Hyperloop One by several of its former employees. Lawsuits can be distracting for companies; they often halt momentum until they can be resolved. That didn’t happen here. The resilience we have shown as a company since June has been nothing short of remarkable. Let’s just take a moment to reflect on just some of the accomplishments since.”
Justin Berger, attorney for the former Hyperloop One employees stated, “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."
The four former employees who sued Hyperloop, BamBrogan, David Pendergast, William Mulholland, and Knut Sauer, said in a statement, “We are planning to build rad shit with rad people, starting with our take on hyperloop.… More to come in the near future.”
A hyperloop is a proposed long-distance, high-speed transportation system. Passengers and cargo would be transported through large tubes with a minimal amount of air inside. The lack of air would minimize resistance and the pods would levitate, removing friction. The pods would be able to travel up to 700 miles per hour, allowing travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes.
Hyperloop One recently announced its plans to build a passenger-ready hyperloop in the United Arab Emirates that will allow passengers to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes. Hyperloop One has promised that its first full system test of its hyperloop transportation system will be held in the first quarter of 2017.
Hyperloop One also recently announced that it secured $50 million in funding from a group led by DP World, the third largest port and terminal operator in the world. Hyperloop One and DP World are planning to conduct a feasibility study to see how Hyperloop technology can more efficiently transport cargo to DP World’s Jebel Ali port in Dubai.