A California jury voted 9-3 to dismiss a whistle blower claim filed by a former SpaceX employee who alleged he was fired for exposing alleged fraud in the testing of parts for the Falcon 9 booster.
Jason Blasdell, who worked as an aviation test technician at SpaceX, claimed managers had pressured technicians to deviate from standard test procedures and sign off on testing that had not been conducted on rocket parts.
He claimed he was fired in violation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act after bringing the matter to the attention of SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell and CEO Elon Musk.
At the close of an eight day trial, the company argued that Blasdell was terminated because he became “unmanageable and disruptive” and “was unable to perform the testing he was hired to perform.” The company also argued that Blasdell’s testimony demonstrated that he never had a reasonable belief that SpaceX was engaging in illegal activity, a requisite element to establishing a whistleblower claim.
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