They wrecked my car on purpose and defamed me.

Those are some of the allegations complained in a complaint filed by Tesla Motors founder Martin Eberhard against current Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the automaker. The two have battled for years publicly and in print and now it goes to court. Here is a link to the complaint, filed in San Mateo Superior Court, which was reported first (as far as I know) by Jalopnik.

Most legal complaints are dry – I used to write them for a living. But this one has some gems. Some of the highlights:

  • Tesla Motors breached a contract with Eberhard when it failed to deliver him the second Tesla Roadster off the manufacturing line. That car went to someone else. Further, Eberhard claims that the car Tesla did deliver to him was deliberately wrecked first. The allegedly wrecked Roadster the company delivered needed 75 new parts. (Eberhard also complains that Tesla held his money for two years before delivering the car.)
  • Musk, claims Eberhard, defamed him in USA Today and other publications by blaming Eberhard personally for Tesla's delays and financial woes. Eberhard also claims that Musk falsely tried to take credit for the idea for the car.
  • Musk, he added, also exaggerates his accomplishments. The complaint alleges that Musk didn't drop out of Stanford, instead stating he was never enrolled.
  • Musk took a "persistent and random" interest in random details of marginal importance. Apparently a lot of time got wasted discussing electronic door latches. (At this point, it is only fair to point out that Eberhard tried to market electronic books back in 1999.)

The complaint also contains a copy of Eberhard's severance agreement.

Happy reading.