Why a Thrash Metal Drummer Is Suing Elon Musk for $56 Billion
Elon Musk's rough week is about to get even rougher. The Twitter honcho and Tesla chief executive has been sued for $56 billion by one of Tesla's investors, with the case heading to court next week. The plaintiff in the case also happens to have a thrash metal background once playing in an early 2000s band.
Richard Tornetta, who once manned the drumkit for Dawn of Correction, has brought the lawsuit against Musk on behalf of the Tesla company as part of a shareholder derivative lawsuit. According to Reuters, if successful, the suit would rescind a 2018 pay package of stock grants to Musk.
Tornetta is actually one of the car company's smallest investors, initially holding only nine shares of the company when he originally brought forth the suit in 2018. The case is set to go to court next Monday (Nov. 14) in Wilmington, Delaware after already surviving a motion to dismiss back in 2019.
In Tornetta's lawsuit, he alleges that Musk dictated the pay package terms to the board of directors and claims that it was then put to a vote of shareholders who were misled about the difficulty of reaching certain targets. The pay package allowed Musk to buy 1 percent of Tesla's stock at a deep discount each time that escalating performance and financial targets were met. Tesla has since hit 11 of the 12 targets according to court papers.
Musk and the board of directors have argued in their court filings that the package kept Musk focused on Tesla over a difficult period that led to a 10-fold rise in the stock price.
The pay package for Musk was criticized upon its initial rollout, with the California teachers retirement system among the investors that voted against it.
As stated, Tornetta was once a thrash metal drummer with Dawn of Correction. The group formed in 2005, releasing their sole studio album Dead Hand Control in 2006 and splitting up a year later.
According to Reuters, Tornetta has a company company creates aftermarket audio gear for car-customizing enthusiasts. The onetime thrash drummer did not reveal why he filed the lawsuit and he did not respond to a request for comment. He's also been involved as the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the sale of Pandora to SiriusXM.