Jason Blasdell is taking rocket company SpaceX to court alleging that management ignored safety test protocols and that test results were falsified.
SpaceX strongly deny the allegations and are defending the action which started this week in a Los Angeles court. SpaceX says that the former employee’s role in the company was terminated for being “disruptive”. Blasdell was fired in April 2014, and had worked at the company for more than three years.
The jury was told it would have to determine whether Blasdell’s firing was justified or otherwise.
Blasdell’s lawyer, Carney Shegerian, told jurors in his opening statement that: “He had nothing personal to benefit from this other than to do the right thing.” Shegerian told the court that Blasdell had taken his complaint up to the highest levels of SpaceX, including founder Elon Musk, and that the rocket company had allegedly cut corners and labelled Blasdell as insubordinate.
“Jason Blasdell is not a whistle-blower and this is not a whistle-blower case,” SpaceX’s lawyer, Lynne Hermle, said in her opening statement to the court. She said that Blasdell had never observed or conducted any unlawful testing of rocket components, and had not raised his issues with Federal authorities.
The action, before California Superior Court Judge William Fahey, is expected to last two weeks.