January 18, 2018

Weird lawsuit filed against Waymo engineer

Filed under: Business, Law, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

In The Register, Kieren McCarthy reports on the case:

The engineer at the center of a massive self-driving car lawsuit – brought by Google-stablemate Waymo against Uber – neglects his kids, is wildly disorganized, and has a large selection of bondage gear, his former nanny has sensationally alleged.

Anthony Levandowski may also be paying a Tesla techie for trade secrets, may have secretly helped set up several self-driving car startups, and at one point planned to flee across the border to Canada in an effort to avoid the legal repercussions of his actions at both Waymo and Uber, it is further claimed.

Those extraordinary allegations come in a highly unusual lawsuit [PDF] filed earlier this month by his ex-nanny Erika Wong, who worked for Waymo’s former star engineer for six months, from December 2016 to June 2017.

Wong’s lawsuit identifies no less than 41 causes of action – ranging from alleged health and safety code violations to emotional distress – and asks for a mind-bogglingly $6m in recompense. Levandowski’s lawyer said the lawsuit is a “work of fiction.”

Not safe for work bits below the fold:

The bedroom becomes quite a place of intrigue in the lawsuit, with the children allegedly uncovering sex toys, pictures, and money on no less than four separate occasions – with Wong rushing in to help clean up, apparently. But not before she carefully catalogued what she found. At one point, an extra lock is placed on the bedroom door.

“The children pulled open one of Levandowski’s dresser drawers in his bedroom, various sized flesh colored dildos were openly exposed. Wong immediately closed the dresser drawer,” the court filing describes one occasion.

Another: “That late afternoon, when Levandowski was away, Wong was in the kitchen for a period of time, the children were in Levandowski’s bedroom. Half an hour later, she walked back to Levandowski’s bedroom, Wong found his dresser drawer open and items on the floor, taken out by the children.”

Wong then lists in some details no less than 21 items she allegedly found:

  • flesh colored dildo 10”
  • 30” elkhide flogger
  • nipple clamps, black with torture adjustable settings
  • silicone ball gag (black) with silicon strap…

And so on: a dominatrix lace harness here, a blue butt plug there (in fact, three butt plugs), multiple vibrators, straps, ropes, massage oil. Quite why Wong decided she needed to make a full list of it all is never made clear.

Another time, claiming that one of the children led her to Levandowski’s closet while waving [a] $100 bill, “Wong opened the closet and a large black suitcase fell over and bumped M.O.L. on the head. The suitcase opened and contained human torture devices. There were photos of female teenagers in compromising positions bound up in rope and red tape. Some of the teenagers were bruised in the face and torso area. The photos were dated back to 2012 with a ‘sharpie’ pen. Wong closed the suitcase and put M.O.L. back to bed.”

All the innuendo aside, the details are likely to be pored over by Google’s lawyers, with Wong giving dates and times and names and license plates – again, without really explaining why she kept a record of it all.

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