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Breaking: Uber Fires Engineer Involved In Self-Driving Lawsuit


UPDATE, MAY 30, 12:50 P.M. PT: Uber has fired vice president of technology  Anthony Levandowski, reports The New York Times. Levandowski, the engineer involved in the Waymo lawsuit, was let go on Tuesday effective immediately. Despite urgings from Uber to cooperate with the lawsuit and provide additional information, Levandowski continues to evoke his Fifth Amendment rights.

A judge ordered Uber on Thursday to provide an unredacted term sheet it made with Otto as part of Waymo’s lawsuit against the car-hailing company. The judge believed there was no reason for Uber to redact information on this document because no privileged information was shared prior to acquiring Otto, Tech Crunch reports. Waymo has sued Uber, accusing Otto executive Anthony Levandowski of stealing trade secrets and using them as part of his self-driving truck startup.

Waymo argued the due diligence report, which was created before the acquisition and includes an interview with Levandowski, may have information that could answer questions Levandowki has refused to answer since he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights. It believes the report could possibly mention the alleged theft of 14,000 documents at the center of this lawsuit, which would indicate that Uber knew about theft.

This latest update comes on the heels of reports of a letter from Uber general counsel insisting Levandowski comply with the lawsuit or potentially lose his job. The Uber exec is no longer working on any self-driving car technology. A federal judge previously sent the accusations of theft of trade secrets to the attention of the Department of Justice and denied Uber’s request for private arbitration. A trial is expected in October.

Uber recently dropped the name of Otto as well following a separate lawsuit related to trademark infringement, according to Forbes. The self-driving unit is now a part of Uber Advanced Technologies Group (Uber ATG). Ontario-based Otto Motors sued Uber for trademark infringement, but the lawsuit was dismissed in February.