Hours after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he would pull the carmaker’s plant from the Golden State, the company sued Alameda county, accusing officials of “defying” state laws by refusing to allow the facility to reopen.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a Twitter rant late Saturday, that saw Musk branding California county’s chief health official “ignorant,” after the local authorities refused to give the company the green light to reopen its plant in Fremont with more than 10,000 workers due to coronavirus resctrictions.
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In his spirited tirade, Musk accused the local health authority of “acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!” before vowing to challenge the order in court.
I’m not messing around. Absurd & medically irrational behavior in violation of constitutional civil liberties, moreover by *unelected* county officials with no accountability, needs to stop.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
“I’m not messing around. Absurd & medically irrational behavior in violation of constitutional civil liberties, moreover by *unelected* county officials with no accountability, needs to stop,” Musk sounded off.
Backing up his words with deeds, Tesla wasted not time in filing a lawsuit, asking the court to declare the county-imposed ban on its operations “void and unenforceable,” while arguing that the Tesla factory has been a part of the state’s “critical infrastructure.”
TESLA VS ALAMEDA COUNTY CALIFORNIA
COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF
Case Number 4:20 cv 03186
Read it in full here:https://t.co/4iTRLGvTCm pic.twitter.com/jwq0W6IUtp
— Third Row Tesla Podcast (@thirdrowtesla) May 9, 2020
Arguing their cause, the lawyers for the electric car manufacturer noted that “Tesla is permitted, and continues, to operate its factory and other facilities in neighboring San Joaquin County.”
There is no rational basis for this disparate treatment of two neighbouring Tesla facilities both operating in federal critical infrastructure sectors, and the Order does not attempt to offer one.
In a blog post on Saturday, Tesla said that it was ready to resume operations at its Fremont facility, insisting that it has developed “a thorough return-to-work plan for all locations” that includes additional training of personnel for them to adjust to social-distancing guidelines and other health requirements, as well as redesigning of the factory itself to reduce interactions to a minimum.
The company further claimed that although it shared all the relevant details of its back-to-work plan with county officials, a public health official who has a final say over the matter has gone incommunicado, failing to answer either their calls, or emails.
It remains to be seen if Musk follows through with his threat to move the plant out of California altogether in case the legal challenge falls through. The billionaire, who is an outspoken opponent of the coronavirus-stalling rules in the US, earlier described the county’s move to prevent his plant from reopening as a “final straw.”
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