A Los Angeles jury today handed another sweeping defense verdict to SpaceX in a $6 million whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former employee. After a two-week trial in superior court, the jury deliberated less than 90 minutes before rejecting the lawsuit and returning a defense verdict.
The case involved a former SpaceX technician, Jason Blasdell, who claimed he was fired in retaliation for allegedly telling his bosses that SpaceX did not follow test protocols and falsified results. The plaintiff portrayed himself as a whistleblower against SpaceX practices, but Orrick partner Lynne Hermle and her team offered a very different story that clearly resonated with the jury. In closing arguments, Lynne depicted the plaintiff as a disturbed and disgruntled former employee who was fired for poor performance and inappropriate conduct.
After the verdict, Lynne told reporters: “We are pleased that SpaceX was cleared of the allegations that were clearly false.”
It is the second time in eight months that an Orrick team led by Lynne has secured a defense verdict at trial for SpaceX.
In addition to Lynne, the trial team included partner Julia Riechert, with support from senior associate Raija Horstman, senior paralegal Mystic Rosa and trial technology manager Trudy Harris.