5 Elon Musk Lawsuits That Are Almost Too Bizarre to Believe

  • The family of notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar threatened to sue Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
  • Why? They claim he stole the Escobar family’s plan to produce a flamethrower.
  • Astonishingly, this may not be Elon Musk’s most bizarre legal conflict.

Elon Musk is never short on controversy. His latest legal battle threatens to land him in trouble with the family of one of the world’s most notorious drug kingpins.

According to The Telegraph, the family of the late Pablo Escobar alleges that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO infringed on the Escobar empire’s intellectual property with The Boring Company’s flamethrower.

Escobar family threatens to sue Elon Musk

Per Roberto Escobar – Pablo’s brother – Musk’s engineers swiped the idea from the Escobars, who discussed producing a “toy flamethrower” inspired by the tale that Pablo Escobar was so rich he would sometimes burn cash to generate heat since paper bills were easier to find than wood.

Elon Musk’s flamethrower is still generating controversy, years after its release. | Source: The Boring Company

Consequently, Roberto will purportedly launch a $100 million lawsuit against Musk in the US:

“We will soon file a $100 million case against him in America, and I will try my best to make sure he loses his stronghold in Tesla Inc.”

If Roberto makes good on his promise, it will just add to the heap of almost-unbelievable lawsuits involving Elon Musk. Here are five of his most bizarre legal conflicts:

1. Farting unicorn copyright battle

In 2017, Tesla allegedly used Colorado artist Tom Edwards’ now-famous “farting unicorn” design without permission. While Edwards originally depicted the design on a coffee mug, Tesla adapted it for promotional materials. Edwards and Tesla reached a settlement before the case went to court.

One of many tweets that have come back to haunt Elon Musk. | Source: Twitter

2. ‘Pedo guy’ lawsuit

Last year, Elon Musk called British diver Vernon Unsworth – who had assisted in rescuing a Thai boys’ soccer team trapped in a cave – a “pedo guy” on Twitter.

Another tweet, another lawsuit for the Tesla CEO. | Source: Twitter

This was after the Tesla billionaire got mocked for offering a mini-submarine to assist in the rescue.

Musk, who testified that he’s “financially illiquid,” faces a $75,000 defamation lawsuit over the pedophile accusations.

3. Elon Musk’s $420 joke

This tweet landed Tesla in a mess of trouble. | Source: Twitter

That wasn’t the last time Musk’s Twitter behavior landed him in trouble. Less than a month later, he jokingly tweeted that he was “taking Tesla private at $420,” with the dollar figure being a reference to cannabis.

The SEC wasn’t amused by the joke, and a settlement resulted in the Tesla CEO getting slapped with a $20 million fine. He was also required to relinquish his post as the chairman of the electric car maker’s board.

4. ‘Open Sabotage’ in misdirected email

Not all the bizarre lawsuits concern Musk himself. In 2014, a Tesla employee triggered a scandal when he accidentally sent an email to a UK energy firm called Ecotricity, outlining Tesla’s plans to undermine the company.

Ecotricity said that information in the email violated a non-disclosure agreement the two companies had signed when discussing the launch of a supercharger network.

The spat led to an out-of-court-settlement in 2015, but that didn’t end the bad blood between the companies.

5. SolarCity ‘family bailout’

Last month, court documents alleged that Elon Musk had pushed for Tesla to acquire SolarCity at a high premium in 2016. This was despite the fact that the EV firm was facing a cash crunch.

The plaintiffs describe the $2.6 billion acquisition as a “bailout” for SolarCity, which was financially distressed. The optics only get worse for Elon Musk, who was the energy firm’s largest shareholder and a cousin of the company’s founders.

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This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: October 26, 2019 16:52 UTC

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