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Hyperloop One is turning into a hot mess of legal drama

Published Jul 12th, 2016 5:50PM EDT

Hyperloop One is supposed to be one of the pioneering companies on the cutting edge of disrupting the transportation industry for greater efficiency, etc. But if the no-holds-barred lawsuit filed by a co-founder today is anything to go by, the company is not in good shape.

In the suit, former co-founder Brogan BamBrogan alleges that top execs engaged in threats, physical abuse, bullying, and even financial misconduct. In turn, the defendants have called the lawsuit “delusional,” “nonsense,” and “a measure of Hyperloop’s success.” Not to mention a total PR disaster.

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The Verge has a good breakdown of the many, many allegations in the lawsuit, but a few things stand out for their craziness:

Defendant Afshin Pishevar, strolled through Hyperloop One’s office and placed a hangman’s noose on BamBrogan’s chair. Hyperloop One’s security cameras captured it all.

Nooses on chairs is some true House of Cards level threats, and only a small step down from severed horse heads.

Before the noose incident, some employees wrote a letter raising concerns about financial practices at the company. According to the suit, they were gathered together and threatened:

If anyone who signed the letter was found to have engaged in any misconduct, all eleven would be held accountable; if anyone talked to investors about what was happening in the company, Hyperloop One would “come after” them; if they did not toe the line, this would be the “worst day” of their lives; and they would bleed the employees dry with frivolous lawsuits.

The complaints go on and on, but let’s just say it doesn’t paint a picture of a healthy company doing well.

Hyperloop One issued a statement to The Verge hitting back against the lawsuit. It’s about as crazy as you’d expect:

“Today’s lawsuit brought by former employees of Hyperloop One is unfortunate and delusional. These employees tried to stage a coup and failed. They knew that the company was aware of their actions, and today’s lawsuit is their preemptive strike. The claims are pure nonsense and will be met with a swift and potent legal response. Frivolous lawsuits like this one have become all too common against start-ups that achieve breakthrough success. The lawsuit filed today by these disgruntled ex-employees is almost a cliche. It is also a measure of Hyperloop’s success. The company continues to recruit top talent, secure significant funding from global investors and accelerate toward its technology milestones. Hyperloop is on track, its board and team are united and today’s bogus lawsuit will have no impact on its goal of becoming the first company to bring the Hyperloop to the world.”