In 2018, Tesla discovered that an employee had been supplying tips to reporters on internal issues.
A process technician named Martin Tripp has been accused of sharing information on production delays and inefficiencies.
Tripp, an employee of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Reno, was fired and sued when the automaker learned of the incidents.
The company contends his infractions extended beyond just sharing process information.
Tesla alleges Tripp wrote software to hack the company’s manufacturing operations and steal trade secrets, and the two sides settled on a $400,000 payment from Tripp for damages.
Judge Miranda Du, who is required to approve the settlement, said the defendant characterized himself as a whistleblower.
Tripp filed a counterclaim where he accused Tesla of defamation after Elon Musk declared his conduct “sabotage.”
Judge Du dismissed the counterclaim back in September.