A thrash metal drummer is suing Elon Musk for $56 billion

Elon Musk in a samurai costume for Heidi Klum's 2022 Halloween Party
(Image credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Elon Musk isn't getting the greatest publicity in the world this week following the controversial Twitter takeover that has seen him introduce a bizarre new verification system, fire numerous important employees and suffer resignations from others. 

Now, according to a report from Reuters, Musk has encountered an unexpected new adversary: Richard Tornetta, a Tesla shareholder and drummer for Dawn Of Correction, a Philadelphia-based thrash metal band who played shows in the mid-2000s. Tornetta filed a lawsuit against Musk in 2018 after taking umbrage to the world's richest man taking a $56 billion pay packet at Tesla, the electric car company he became CEO of in 2008.

According to Reuters, the lawsuit, which survived a motion to dismiss and goes to court on Monday, November 14, alleges that Musk's Tesla pay packet, based on company performance targets, is unfair due to the targets being set particularly low, enabling Musk to earn tens of billions while being what Tornetta's suit describes as a “part-time executive”.

"The disputed pay package allows Musk to buy 1% of Tesla's stock at a deep discount each time escalating performance and financial targets are met; otherwise Musk gets nothing," reads Reuters' report. "Tesla has hit 11 of the 12 targets as its value ballooned briefly to more than $1 trillion from $50 billion, according to court papers.

"Musk and the directors argue in court filings that the package kept Musk focused on Tesla during a difficult period and led to a 10-fold rise in the stock price."

If the lawsuit succeeds, it'll strip Musk of his $56 billion pay via his stock grants - money which will benefit Tesla, rather than go to Tornetta directly.

Dawn Of Correction formed in 2005, releasing one album, Dead Hand Control, in 2008, before splitting a year later.  

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.