A day after Lukasz Krupski put out a fire at a Tesla car delivery location in Norway, seriously burning his hands and preventing a disaster, he got an email from Elon Musk.

"Congratulations for saving the day!” Musk, Tesla’s CEO, wrote in March 2019.

But what started as a story about a heroic employee and a grateful employer has devolved into an epic battle between the carmaker and Krupski, a service technician. The fight has spawned lawsuits in Norway and the United States and caught the attention of regulators in several countries.