A California electrical engineering student who earned a $500,000 contract to design an electric car engine is a “tremendedous talent” who was working for “an amazing organization,” a federal judge ruled Friday.
In a ruling released Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Kagan of California wrote that the contract awarded to Erika Voss was not “an ordinary award, nor was it subject to the usual review” of a federal contractor.
The award, which was made in May 2016, was awarded to Voss in “the manner required by law,” according to the ruling, which came as part of an ongoing dispute between the government and the company that manufactures the electric car, EV3.
In the ruling filed Friday, Kagan wrote that he had no issues with the award given to Vossel.
The federal judge said that EV3 and EV3+ have not yet received the contract and that the agency had been in discussions with EV3’s owners and would have “re-examined the award if and when it becomes available.”
A separate lawsuit filed last year alleged that EV2 had a different contract award than that of EV3 that gave it a contract worth $100,000.
The lawsuit alleged that it had an agreement that did not go into effect until 2017.
Erika Vossels father, Mark Vossell, said in a statement that the award was “extremely unfair” and that he would be filing an appeal.
“I am extremely disappointed in the federal government and its decision to take this award,” he said.
“I will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.”
The DOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.