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Watch now: Judge allows Tesla lawsuit against Rivian to move forward

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Rivian plant (copy)

The Rivian plant in Normal is shown. A California judge is allowing a lawsuit against the company by Tesla to move forward. 

NORMAL — A California judge has declined Rivian Automotive Inc.'s request to throw out a portion of a lawsuit filed by Tesla Inc., which claims the electric vehicle rival stole trade secrets, allowing the legal action to move forward.  

Tesla filed the 17-page complaint in Superior Court in Santa Clara, California, in July over "an alarming pattern among Tesla employees recently leaving to join Rivian."

The suit names four former Tesla employees who went to work for Rivian, including Jessica Siron, identified in the court filing as a Bloomington resident who worked as the manager of environmental health and safety. 

Tesla says Rivian has hired 178 of its former workers. 

A company official said the "suit's allegations are baseless and run counter to Rivian's culture, ethos and corporate policies."

Rivian, founded in 2009, is building out the former Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal in 2017 for electric vehicle production. 

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Monahan in a tentative ruling this week rejected Rivian's request to throw out a misappropriation of trade secrets claim. He did agree to dismiss an intentional interference in contract allegation.  

Rivian last week was sued by Illinois auto dealers who say plans to sell electric vehicles directly to consumers violates state rules. 


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