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Fisker Founders Sued Over Company Collapse

 
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2012 Fisker Karma EcoChic, New York City, Jan 2012

2012 Fisker Karma EcoChic, New York City, Jan 2012

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The woes of Fisker Automotive, the electric car startup that filed for bankruptcy late last year after a series of insurmountable problems, don't look like stopping any time soon.

Investor group Atlas Capital Management LP is suing Fisker co-founder Henrik Fisker as well as several former directors over $2 million in losses it sustained when the startup went bankrupt. According to the lawsuit (via Bloomberg), Fisker misled Atlas over its financial status when the company invested in the electric automaker--including problems with Department of Energy loans and keeping secret a 2011 safety recall.

Atlas claims Fisker deliberately issued "materially false and misleading statements" as it continued to raise capital. Had Atlas known about Fisker's financial issues, it "would not have purchased or otherwise acquired its Fisker securities" or if it had done so, "it would not have [bought securities] at the artificially inflated prices which it paid." Adding insult to injury, Atlas claims that Fisker only released details of the recall of 239 Karma sedans just one day after a round of financing closed.

Fisker is still undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, filed in December following 18 months of not building a single vehicle. Production originally halted when the bankruptcy of battery firm A123 Systems stopped the supply of batteries, but continued following further financial issues, the destruction of dozens of Karmas at a port ravaged by hurricane Sandy, subsequent insurance payout issues and eventually the layoffs of most of Fisker's workforce.

In November, Fisker's assets were sold to Hybrid Technology Holdings LLC, which also paid off $25 million of outstanding government loans as part of the deal. In total, around $139 million in DoE loans invested in Fisker have not been repaid.

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