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The jury trail of a lawsuit by a fired SpaceX employee, claiming that he was dismissed because he complained about bad practices at the company, has now begun.
A Los Angeles state court jury will be asked to decide whether Blasdell had good reason to believe testing documents were falsified and whether his firing was unjustified. “He went up the chain of command as he had learned in the Marines was the proper procedure,” Blasdell’s lawyer, Carney Shegerian, told jurors in his opening statement Tuesday. “He had nothing personal to benefit from this other than to do the right thing.” SpaceX made misrepresentations to the federal government, cut corners in areas where safety was concerned and labeled Blasdell “insubordinate” for pressing his concerns, Shegerian said.
Not surprisingly, the SpaceX lawyer disagreed:
“Jason Blasdell is not a whistle-blower and this is not a whistle-blower case,” SpaceX’s lawyer, Lynne Hermle, said in her opening statement. He never observed or conducted any unlawful testing of rocket parts, never complained about unlawful testing, and never brought any concerns about unlawful testing to federal authorities, Hermle told jurors.