Anthony Levandowski, the engineer and autonomous car startup founder who was at the center of a trade secrets and techniques lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, has been required to pay $179 million to end a contract conflict over his exit from Google.
An arbitration committee ruled in December that Levandowski and Lior Ron had engaged in unfair competition and breached their agreement with Google after they left the corporate to launch a rival self-driving car company concentrated on trucking, named Otto. Uber purchased Otto in 2017. A San Francisco County court confirmed Wednesday the panel’s decision.
Ron settled in February with Google for $9.7 million. However, Levandowski had disputed the ruling. The San Francisco County Superior courtroom dismissed his petition, granting Google’s request to hold Levandowski to the arbitration agreement under which he was responsible.
Levandowski himself may not have to pay the money personally, as this sort of liability may fall to his employer depending on his agreement or other legal quirks.
Nevertheless, Levandowski filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, stating that the likely $179M debt quite exceeds his assets, which he forecasts at somewhere between $50M and $100M.