Tesla Shareholder Asks Judge to Prevent Elon Musk From Moving Pay Fight to Texas to Evade Delaware Ruling

By Jace Dela Cruz

Apr 25, 2024 03:16 AM EDT

A Tesla shareholder who successfully challenged CEO Elon Musk's massive compensation package is seeking court intervention again to prevent the company from evading a Delaware court ruling by relocating its state of incorporation to Texas.

In January, a Delaware Chancery Court judge ordered Tesla to rescind Musk's 2018 CEO pay package, worth around $56 billion in options. The judge ruled that the board overseeing the deal lacked independence from Musk and that critical information was withheld from shareholders during the 2018 vote.

10th Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 13: Elon Musk attends the 10th Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 13, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo : Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Tesla Shareholder Seeks to Prevent Elon Musk From Evading Delaware Pay Ruling

According to Reuters, Richard Tornetta, through his legal representatives, urged Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick to rule on his request before Tesla's annual meeting on June 13. 

In the meeting, shareholders will vote to move the company's incorporation to Texas and approve Elon Musk's contentious 2018 compensation package. In the plaintiff's filing, Tornetta's legal team asked McCormick to prevent Tesla from opposing the court's authority by relocating to a different state.

"Defendants cannot now seek to run from this jurisdiction and undo years of litigation because they are unhappy with the outcome," they said in the filing.

The filing also cited Delaware as the company's location of business incorporation for 21 years, which was the reason why shareholders brought legal action in that state.

After McCormick voided Musk's "unfathomable" Tesla pay package, the Tesla CEO criticized Delaware and its courts and said the state was attempting to stop companies from leaving.

READ NEXT: Elon Musk Might Be Turning X Back Into Twitter This Strategy Be Beneficial? 

Tesla Shareholder Wants Court to Seize Stock Options

Richard Tornetta's legal team also asked the court to confiscate the stock options to prevent Tesla and Elon Musk from circumventing the January ruling.

Tesla has sought to reinstate the compensation package by asking shareholders to "ratify" Musk's 2018 pay. According to Reuters, this could enable Musk to continue providing Tesla with grounds to contest the substantial attorneys' fees sought by Tornetta's lawyers.

The controversial pay package granted stock option awards for approximately 304 million shares if Tesla achieved certain milestones. Musk could buy the Tesla stock at a significant discount since he has not exercised the stock options.

READ MORE: Elon Musk Adds a Safety Team to Re-connect X's to Advertisers 

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