Attorneys for the investors in Tesla Inc. will argue that they have the right to use testimony from Elon Musk’s recent deposition in another case involving Musk’s control over Tesla and board conflicts in their action slated to go to trial later this month. The investors urge that any contradictory testimony could be used to impeach Musk at trial. But, Musk’s attorneys want to limit the investors’ access to issues involving the SolarCity deal – wherein Tesla purchased the rooftop solar company for $2.6 billion.
The core matter concerns accusations by Tesla investors that Musk led Tesla into a conflicted $2.6 billion purchase of SolarCity. The investors have described SolarCity—which was struggling financially and of which Musk is the former CEO—as “a company run by Elon Musk’s cousins, intertwined with Tesla in a complex web of familial and business relationships, and in which [Musk] holds approximately $500 million of stock.”
Other Tesla directors previously agreed to settle the action, paying $60 million to escape the case, but Musk continues to fight.
Meanwhile, the Tesla CEO is also still involved in another lawsuit challenging Tesla’s board’s approval of his ten-year, $55 billion compensation package. Musk’s deposition in that case is what attorneys in the SolarCity case are seeking.
The parties will argue this issue before Vice Chancellor Slights on July 6, 2021, As Vice Chancellor Slights has previously granted investors’ motion to compel certain communications between Tesla attorneys and Musk while withholding communications with other parties, the argument should make for a unique battle.
For more on the SolarCity matter involving Tesla shareholder rights, see coverage by Law360 here [$$$].