Elon Musk’s X to Pay $1m in Legal Fees to Laid Off Staff

X, the company formerly known as Twitter, has been ordered to pay $1.1 million in legal fees to its laid-off former executives, reports The Independent.

Since his takeover of X, Elon Musk has not exactly had an easy ride with the social media platform. It has faced numerous lawsuits, including suits over the firm’s failure to pay its vendor and delays in paying rent for its office premises, as well as former employees suing Twitter with allegations they were laid off without adequate notice.

Allegations Against Elon Musk

On Tuesday, Delaware Chancery Court judge Kathleen St. Judge McCormick ruled in favour of the company’s ex-chief Parag Agrawal’s allegations that executives were unfairly laid off, stating that X must pay $1.1m in legal fees in reparations.

Upon buying the blogging platform last November, the multi-billionaire fired Mr. Agrawal and Twitter’s then-lead policy officer Vijaya Gadde as well as a number of other executives.

Mr Agrawal and Ms Gadde then sued Twitter/X for failing to pay for their legal bills, including for the latter’s appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The lawsuit alleged the company paid only about $600,000 of what it owes, withholding $1.1m in fees for its lawyers’ work representing the former executives in an inquiry on the role played by social media on US elections.

The filing subsequently alleged that Twitter/X “breached the agreements and contravened the bylaws” by not paying the former staff.

The latest ruling by the Delaware court judge observed that X “violated its duties to cover legal expenses generated by their work for the company”.

More Trouble in The Pipeline

In response to the whopping $1.1m fee requested, while acknowledging the sum is a lot of money, Judge McCormick showed little sympathy for the decision: “I have reviewed the amount in question, and although it is high and probably higher than most humans would like to pay, it’s not unreasonable”.

And, alongside this latest fine, X is not out of the fire just yet. The microblogging platform is also being sued over its rebrand to X by an ad agency also named X, alleging the social media platform’s new name violates Florida common law because of “unfair competition and trademark and service mark infringement”.

The litter of lawsuits against X certainly makes one wonder if Mr. Musk, already the boss of Space X and the Tesla titan, bit off more than he could chew with his purchase of Twitter last year.