Uber’s deputy general counsel Angela Padilla called a former employee’s letter alleging corporate espionage and other shady tactics “extortion” on the stand during a Wednesday today ahead of Waymo’s trial against Uber.
But that former employee’s lawyer, Clayton Halunen, told BuzzFeed News that Padilla’s testimony was “outrageous and could be defamatory.” He declined to comment at all on any of the specifics about the settlement, which was revealed to be $7.5 million in court on Wednesday.
The letter in question, which was written by Halunen for former Uber security analyst Ric Jacobs and sent to Uber in May, blew up Waymo’s trade secrets case against Uber on Tuesday, just a week before the set trial date.
Waymo — the self-driving car division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet — sued Uber back in February, alleging that former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski stole documents and trade secrets that were acquired by Uber along with Levandowski’s self-driving truck startup Otto in August 2016. Jacobs’ letter alleges that Uber had teams whose purpose was finding competitor’s unguarded intellectual property online, that employees used encrypted and ephemeral chat apps to cover their tracks, and even that Uber’s corporate espionage specifically targeted Waymo.
After a state attorney general, who was also investigating Uber for another matter, alerted Judge William Alsup to the existence of this letter, Alsup — who appeared visibly annoyed in court — was forced to further delay the trial in order to allow Waymo sufficient time to investigate these new claims and…