Car Industry

Tesla is starting a Zoox suit riot over document theft by ex-employees

The suit names four former Tesla employees who allegedly made off with proprietary logistics documents and improperly poached other Tesla staff.

Tesla has filed a lawsuit against four ex-employees saying that they made off with proprietary logistics information.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Tesla is getting all litigious again, this time over proprietary logistics information that was allegedly purloined by several employees before they quit and went to work for a self-driving vehicle startup called Zoox, Business Insider reports.

Tesla's suit, filed Wednesday in US District Court in San Francisco, alleges that four former employees -- Scott Turner, Sydney Cooper, Christian Dement and Craig Emigh -- violated the terms of their employment by stealing proprietary data and providing it to a competitor as well as by poaching other Tesla employees.

Tesla declined to comment on the suit beyond what was stated in the court documents.

Zoox, for its part, currently has as many as 100 ex-Tesla employees among its ranks and mentioned in the suit as having actively courted these Tesla employees and knowingly accepted Tesla's intellectual property.

According to court documents, Turner forwarded a number of Tesla documents to a personal email address on multiple occasions, as did Dement. Craig Emigh allegedly attempted to email Sydney Cooper but mistakenly sent repurposed Tesla documents -- now branded with the Zoox logo -- to Cooper's old Tesla email address. Oops.

Zoox is probably best known at this point for being the first company to receive permission from the California Department of Transportation to transport public passengers in a self-driving car.

Zoox didn't respond immediately to requests for comment.