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Former Twitter execs sue Elon Musk over severance payments

New York CNN  —  A group of former Twitter executives sued Elon Musk on Monday in a bid to recover more than $128 million in severance that they allege Musk has not paid since he acquired the company, now called X, more than a year ago. The executives include former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, former CFO Ned Segal, former Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde and former General Counsel Sean Edgett — all of whom were fired within hours after Musk took control of Twitter. The lawsuit alleges that Musk declined to make the severance payments as a form of “revenge” against the executives after he was forced to go through with the $44 billion acquisition deal that he had spent months trying to get out of. “Because Musk decided he didn’t want to pay Plaintiffs’ severance benefits, he simply fired them without reason, then made up fake cause and appointed employees of his various companies to uphold his decision,” the complaint, filed Monday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, states. “He claimed in his termination letters that each Plaintiff committed ‘gross negligence’ and ‘willful misconduct’ without citing a single fact in support of this claim.” X did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Monday’s lawsuit is just the latest legal action brought by former Twitter employees related to Musk’s acquisition. One lawsuit brought by a former Twitter human resources leader in July, seeking class action status, seeks an order for Musk and the company to pay additional severance benefits allegedly owed to former employees in an amount no less than $500 million. The company has also been accused of failing to pay annual bonuses to employees laid off after Musk’s takeover. Agrawal, Gadde and Segal also previously sued Musk to recover more than $1 million in legal fees they said they were owed; the company was ordered to pay the fees in a Delaware Chancery Court ruling last year. Musk and X have also faced lawsuits from vendors, landlords and business partners who claim the company has failed to pay what they are owed. “Musk’s refusal to pay Plaintiffs is part of a larger pattern and practice of failing to comply with his payment obligations,” the former executives claimed in Monday’s lawsuit.