New Jersey newspaper The Record is reporting that Mission Motorcycles, maker of the soon-to-be-released Mission RS and Mission R electric motorcycles, has filed a lawsuit against one of the company’s co-founders, Vincent Ip.
In its lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, Mission Motorcycles asserts that Ip must relinquish stock in the EV startup, pursuant to a stock restriction agreement the Ip signed with fellow co-founders Mark Seeger and Andrew Ng.
Ip was terminated from his position at Mission Motorcycles in November 2013, after he allegedly made threats of violence against other company executives. According to the stock restriction agreement, the parties agreed that the company can buy the shares of any of the three shareholders if one of them should leave the company.
According to The Record, Ip, Seegar, and Ng all invested $30,000 into Mission Motorcycles, in exchange for 300,000 shares, and then later invested an additional $70,000 each. The paper also reports that Mission Motorcycles is close to closing a major financing round.
Through his attorney, Ip states that the stock restriction agreement is invalid because it was signed under duress and without consideration (a legal term for getting something in exchange via a contract — a necessary element to a legal contract).
Ip’s lawyer also asserted, while talking to The Record, that Ip will be bringing a countersuit against Mission Motorcycles, and that Mission’s lawsuit came about after the company learned that Ip was planning to sue it for fraud, breach of contract, and other legal grounds.
Founder disputes are not uncommon in the startup world, and one has to look no farther than Tesla Motors for such an example in the EV space — even Mission Motor, the company originally behind the Mission electric motorcycles, had its own variety of founder intrigue.
As is too often the case, the courts will decided the facts and legal standing in this matter. Though, the fallout from the lawsuit could certainly be a setback to Mission Motorcycles, especially as the company tries to close investments. What that means for development, production, and deliveries remains to be seen. Mission Motorcycles declined to comment on this article.
Source: The Record