The Hyperloop is a bizarre idea from Elon Musk to take the vactrain from science fiction to reality. If built, it could potentially zip humans across the country at ridiculous speed, solving our freight and transport issues. But that’s becoming a much bigger if the main proponents of the Hyperloop, Hyperloop One, keep hitting each other with bizarre lawsuits.
The co-founder and chief technical officer Brogan Bambrogan (yes, that’s his name) has resigned and sued Hyperloop One’s other founder, Shervin Pishevar, accusing him of everything from manipulating stock options to keep employees in line, to wasting engineers’ time on pointless tasks. Some of the more salient details Bambrogan’s suit has brought to light include:
- Pishevar’s fiancée was allegedly hired to do PR at $40,000 a month, and his brother was hired as the company’s general counsel.
- Speaking of Pishevar’s brother, the main lawyer for the company supposedly left a noose on the desk of complaining employees. There’s video evidence of this including in the lawsuit filing, by the way.
- Senior engineers had to stop work so they could give a tour to a doorman to a local nightclub.
- One of the plaintiffs was fired in front of his family, allegedly out of spite.
This is a problem for more reasons than just the bad publicity, although the head lawyer of a company leaving a noose on someone’s desk isn’t a great story. The Hyperloop is going to be enormously expensive to build and will require, ultimately, billions of dollars to get even a version that only ships cargo up and running. Investors might flee, shutting down the company. True, others have taken up the torch, but one failure might be too much of a setback for the entire field.