Hyperloop One finally settles its ugly lawsuit with former employees

Posted on Nov 19 2016 - 2:09am by Huzoor Bux



Hyperloop unveiled this model of a super-speed sled in Las Vegas in May, just two months before a lawsuit was filed by four former employees.

Image:  john locher/ AP images

Hyperloop One has settled a lawsuit that accused top executives of cronyism, nepotism, misuse of funds and allegations of harassment.

The Los Angeles-based developer of a futuristic transport system first thought up by Elon Musk has finally put a close to a lawsuit filed in July by four former employees. The settlement amount is confidential.

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“Hyperloop One is pleased to announce that it has reached a confidential resolution of litigation with its former employees and looks forward to continuing to execute on its business plan,” the company said in an emailed statement to CNBC News on Friday.

The lawsuit accused top execs Shervin Pishevar, Afshin Pishevar, Joseph Lonsdale and Robert Lloyd of nepotism and corruption, specifically hiring a brother with no experience, leaving a noose on the desk of one of the defendants and handing a fiancé a PR position paying a monthly salary of $40,000 that’s “far above market value,” according to the suit. Hyperloop One initially fought back with a $250 million countersuit. 

Happier times:  (L-R) Hyperloop One Co-Founder & Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar, Hyperloop One Chief Executive Officer Rob Lloyd and Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer Brogan BamBrogan speak in Las Vegas in May.

Happier times:  (L-R) Hyperloop One Co-Founder & Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar, Hyperloop One Chief Executive Officer Rob Lloyd and Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer Brogan BamBrogan speak in Las Vegas in May.

Image: david becker/ Getty Images

Despite the legal challenge, the ambitious developer has been moving forward with plans to build a hyperloop transit system in the United Arab Emirates — one that would get travelers from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (a 90-mile trip) in just 12 minutes. The system would transport passengers in pods through a tube at high speeds. It envisions completing its UAE project in 2021.

And the tech company doesn’t plan on slowing down, as CEO Rob Lloyd made clear in an emailed memo to employees obtained by Forbes.

“Lawsuits can be distracting for companies; they often halt momentum until they can be resolved. That didn’t happen here,” Lloyd wrote to staff, adding that its “Kitty Hawk” plan for next year is still on track.

As for their part, the defendants are just as ready to move forward.

“We are planning to build rad shit with rad people, starting with our take on hyperloop,” defendant Brogan BamBrogan, former CTO and cofounder of Hyperloop One, told Forbes.



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