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    Uber argues ‘fraud’ absolves it from paying star engineer’s $179M fine to Google


    Uber argued in a recent court docket submitting that former staff Anthony Levandowski fully commited fraud, an motion that frees the enterprise from any obligation to fork out his lawful bills, together with a judgment buying the star engineer to shell out Google $179 million.

    The court filing was 1st described by Bloomberg.

    Uber’s fraud claim was element of its reaction to Levandowski’s motion to compel the journey-hailing enterprise into arbitration in the hopes that his former employee will have to shoulder the price of the $179 million judgment versus him. The movement to compel arbitration, and now Uber’s response, is portion of Levandowski’s personal bankruptcy proceedings. It is the newest chapter in a authorized saga that has entangled Uber and Waymo, the former Google self-driving undertaking that is now a enterprise below Alphabet.

    In this most current court submitting, Uber has agreed to arbitration. Nonetheless, Uber also pushed again versus Levandowski’s major purpose to force the company to stand by an indemnity agreement. Uber signed an indemnity agreement in 2016 when it obtained Levandowski’s self-driving truck startup Otto. Under the settlement, Uber reported it would indemnify — or compensate — Levandowski from claims brought by his former employer, Google.

    Uber stated it rescinded the indemnification settlement numerous months prior to the inception of Levandowski’s personal bankruptcy case “because it was procured by his fraud,” in accordance to the court docket submitting. Uber revoked the indemnification agreement after Levandowski was indicted by a federal grand jury with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets and techniques, whilst performing at Google, in which he was an engineer and just one of the founding users of the team that worked on Google’s self-driving motor vehicle undertaking.

    Uber notified Levandowski’s counsel on August 30, a few times just after the indictment, explaining that the indemnification settlement was rescinded “because it experienced been procured by Levandowski’s fraud, together with his fraudulent concealment of the details alleged in the indictment.”

    Levandowski achieved a plea deal in March 2020 with the U.S. District Attorney to one count of thieving trade tricks although performing at Google.

    Uber stated it never gained any rewards from Levandowski below the indemnification agreement, and experienced nothing at all to return to him as a final result of the rescission, the business mentioned in the court docket submitting.

    Levandowski’s attorney pushed back again at Uber’s argument.

    “Uber’s assertion that Anthony did not disclose product data to Uber is wrong,” Levandowski’s legal professional Neel Chatterjee mentioned in an emailed assertion sent to TechCrunch . “The accusations Uber will make is premised on information and facts they received as component of the due diligence approach. This is the newest in a string of meritless theories Uber has established forth to try out to get out of the offer it struck mainly because it did not like the final result.”

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