Ex-SpaceX avionics tech loses safety certificate-forging wrongful dismissal lawsuit

Majority verdict swats aside 'paranoid' man's sueball

An avionics technician who claimed he was unlawfully fired from Elon Musk's SpaceX after raising the alarm over alleged safety failures has lost his wrongful dismissal lawsuit.

Jason Blasdell had claimed in court that he complained to the president of SpaceX in his efforts to alert his managers to what he said were forged test passes for safety-critical rocket equipment being made for NASA.

A jury sitting in the Superior Court of the State of California, county of Los Angeles, returned a 9-3 verdict dismissing Blasdell's claim that he was fired because he refused to break the law, as legal website Law360 reported.

"I'm pleased that SpaceX was cleared of these allegations, which in my view were clearly false," one of the company's lawyers told the site.

Musk's firm argued throughout the hearing that Blasdell was fired because he became obsessed with the "inefficiency" of testing. The former US Marine, who was trained as an avionics technician in the service, was also said to have attention deficit disorder for which he was taking amphetamine-based medication. One of his own expert witnesses was said to have revealed that he also suffers from paranoia.

SpaceX lawyer Lynne Hermle told the court that Blasdell was "an employee who was unable to perform the testing he was hired to perform, an employee who ultimately was terminated for the good of the avionics lab and the other test technicians."

Blasdell's lawyers indicated he is considering an appeal against the verdict. ®


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