A Delaware judge will allow Elon Musk to incorporate new information from Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko into his countersuit against the company. Zatko, a well-respected security expert known by the nickname “Mudge,” previously served as Twitter’s head of security and raised concerns about the company’s security and privacy practices in a recent whistleblower complaint.
Delaware’s Chancery Court chancellor Kathaleen McCormick issued a decision Wednesday that would allow Musk to amend his counterclaim with details that emerged in Zatko’s whistleblower complaint filed with the SEC in July. McCormick added that Musk would only be allowed “incremental discovery relevant to the new allegations” and that could include “targeted document discovery and minimal additional experts and fact witnesses.”
Twitter argued against allowing Musk to amend his claims with Zatko’s allegations, but the judge noted that such amendments are typically allowed. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal denied the accuracy of Zatko’s claims in an internal memo last month, arguing that the whistleblower complaint pushes “a false narrative that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and presented without important context.”
While Musk is getting his way on that one, McCormick rejected the simultaneous request from his legal team to delay the trial, which is scheduled to start on October 17. Musk’s team wanted to push the trial a month out, into mid-November.
“In arguing that trial should be delayed by at least four weeks, Defendants contend that no external deadline creates any urgency… But the opposite is true,” McCormick wrote. “I previously rejected Defendants’ arguments in response to Twitter’s motion to expedite, making clear that the longer the delay until trial, the greater the risk of irreparable harm to Twitter.”
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