Former Uber Engineer Anthony Levandowski Faces New Allegations of Trade Secret Theft
Those allegations were made by his former nanny.
The Uber vs. Waymo legal drama has taken a new, and somewhat bizarre, turn. Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving car engineer at the center of the court case, is being sued by his former nanny. Erika Wong alleges Levandowski failed to pay her, violated health and labor codes, and caused emotional distress, according to Wired. But her complaint also includes accusations supporting Waymo's claim that Levandowski stole self-driving car trade secrets.
Levandowski worked for Waymo before leaving to found his own startup, Otto, which was subsequently bought by Uber. Waymo claims Levandowski downloaded 14,000 confidential files and brought them to Uber. Levandowski was eventually fired by Uber for refusing to help fight the Waymo lawsuit. The court case is currently held up by fresh evidence of corporate spying by Uber.
In a court filing, Wong said Levandowski was noticeably agitated the day Waymo filed its lawsuit against Uber. He was sweating and cursing while talking to his lawyer on the phone, according to the filing. Wong also said that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick visited Levandowski's house at a later date, bringing legal documents for the engineer to sign as well as a bucket full of circuit boards and lenses. At one point, Levandowski discussed driving to Canada to avoid prosecution, Wong said.
Wong also alleges that Levandowski often discussed payments to a Pat Green, supposedly a Tesla employee supplying Levandowski with information on the automaker's electric semi truck. She also said Levandowski was involved with autonomous-driving startups Argo AI and JingChi. Both told Wired this was not the case.
Levandowski's spokesperson responded to the lawsuit with a statement:
"On January 5 a frivolous lawsuit was filed against Anthony Levandowski in U.S. District Court. The allegations in the lawsuit are a work of fiction. Levandowski is confident that the lawsuit will be dismissed by the courts."