Charles River Associates, which says it was hired by Twitter to help it figure out how to make Elon Musk pay $44 billion for the company after he tried to back out of the deal, today sued Musk's newest acquisition for the $2.2 million it says it's owed for the work - times two or, even better, three, plus 18% annual interest.
In its suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the Back Bay-headquartered CRA says Twitter's previous management hired it last August to provide consulting services related to the company's suit against Musk in Delaware. when it seemed like he wanted to back out of what many analysts said was a phenomenally overvalued bid for his favorite social-media platform. Although Twitter is based in California, CRA says a Boston court is the right venue for its suit in part because the contract Twitter signed obligated it to settle any disputes in Massachusetts.
CRA and its Senior Consultant, Professor Mark Zmijewski, were retained by Twitter to provide economic consulting services related to Professor Zmijewski's anticipated expert rebuttal report and expert rebuttal testimony, which were to be in rebuttal of the expert report and testimony of one of the experts for the Musk partieis, Yvette Austin Smith.
In furtherance of its retention by Twitter, between August 15, 2022, the effective date of its retention, and October 27, 2022, the close of the merger, CRA provided all requested expert consulting work and services to Twitter and its legal counsel in connection with the Musk Litigation and purusant to the terms and conditions of the Contract.
CRA says it submitted a series of invoices to Twitter through Oct. 26, the day before Musk took over, but never got paid. It then tried submitting invoices again but says it ran into new problems - like the Twitter attorney it had been dealing with before the takeover left the company and the new attorney refused to reply to any messages.
CRA continues that a contract is a contract and even if Twitter has a new owner, it still owes CRA for the work the consulting firm did under the contract Twitter signed.
CRA performed all of the services requested of it under the Contract, and worked per the terms of the Contract and with the expectation that Twitter would timely pay all Invoices.
Nothwithstanding all of the work provided to Twitter, Twitter has failed and refused to pay all monies to CRA under the Contract.
The failure and refusal of Twitter to pay the monies owed to CRA under the Contract has been intentional and willful.
And that, the company says, is an "unfair and deceptive act and practice" under a Massachusetts law known as Chapter 93A, which governs contracts in the state, among other things.
Because of that, CRA is seeking the double or treble damages allowed for violations of the law, plus interests, costs and attorneys' fees.
CRA joins a growing list of people and companies who say Musk is trying to cheat them out of money Twitter owes them, including fired workers and landlords of buildings where Twitter had offices.