Waymo seeks a whopping $2.6B in damages from Uber – CNET


Waymo claims Uber is allegedly using stolen trade secrets for its self-driving cars.


Waymo isn’t after chump change in its lawsuit against Uber.

The self-driving car unit of Google‘s parent company Alphabet is seeking $2.6 billion in damages for the alleged theft of autonomous vehicle trade secrets, according to Reuters. This figure was made public on Wednesday during a hearing for the case in federal court in San Francisco.

Waymo has accused Uber of stealing secretive self-driving car technology. The case centers around former Google employee Anthony Levandowski, who allegedly stole 14,000 “highly confidential” files before leaving the company to start his own self-driving truck startup. Uber bought that startup several months later for $680 million and placed Levandowski as the head of its autonomous vehicle program.

Levandowski has since been fired by Uber. But Waymo claims that doesn’t dismiss the possibility that the ride-hailing company still used the secrets in the pilfered files for its own self-driving car tech.

Damages of $2.6 billion is a hefty number for a lawsuit. Some of the biggest settlements in US history for a single plaintiff aren’t far off, such as a Bank of America settlement over toxic mortgage loans for $16 billion in 2014 and a reward of $23.6 billion to a lung cancer victim in a 2014 lawsuit against RJ Reynolds Tobacco.

The hearing in the Waymo v. Uber lawsuit on Wednesday was to discuss whether the trial for the case, currently slated to begin on Oct, 10, will be delayed. Waymo is pushing to postpone the trial so it can have more time to comb through recently obtained evidence related to the case. Uber has said it wants the trial to proceed on the scheduled date.

Neither Uber nor Waymo immediately responded to requests for comment.

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