Travis Kalanick hits back at lawsuit, labelling it a “public and personal attack”

Founder, board member and former CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick has fired back at a lawsuit filed against him by venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, saying that it is “part of its public and personal attack” on his reputation.

Benchmark, which was an early investor in Uber and holds a seat on the companys board of directors, filed the lawsuit earlier this month following Kalanicks departure from the CEO position at the firm. The suit suggests that Kalanick committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty while attempting to maintain control at Uber.

Yesterday, Kalanicks legal team filed documents positing that Benchmarks claims are subject to mandatory arbitration, and that the Delaware Chancery Court, where the complaint was filed, doesnt have the jurisdiction to settle them..

The filing, which was first spotted by Axios, also alleges that Benchmark is needlessly trying to eject Kalanick from the board, and that his departure as CEO was orchestrated by Benchmark to take advantage of him while he was in mourning for his mother.

“It executed its plan at the most shameful of times: immediately after Kalanick experienced a horrible personal tragedy,” says the filing, referencing a tragic boating accident which also seriously injured Kalanicks father.

The filing also disputes that the agreement Kalanick signed on the night of his departure has been fulfilled, in particular regarding the appointment of three unfilled board seats, and says that Benchmarks fraud claims rely upon “information and belief” rather than explicitly detailing fraudulent statements.

Ubers board (excluding Kalanick and Benchmark) has issued a statement regarding the lawsuit saying that it was “disappointed” that Benchmark was taking action, while a vocal group of investors has also called for Benchmark to sell of its shares and remove itself from the board, calling its actions “ethically dubious and, critically, value-destructive rather than value enhancing”.

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