Tesla employee rejects $15 mln payout in race bias lawsuit

A Black former elevator operator at Tesla Inc’s flagship California meeting plant on Tuesday rejected a $15 million award in his lawsuit alleging racial abuse by coworkers, opening the door for a brand new trial after a decide slashed a $137 million jury verdict.

Attorneys for Owen Diaz, who had sued Tesla in 2017, turned down the decide’s award in a short submitting in federal courtroom in San Francisco. They stated in an announcement that the award was unjust and wouldn’t deter future misconduct by Tesla.

You are reading: Tesla employee rejects $15 mln payout in race bias lawsuit

“In rejecting the courtroom’s extreme discount by asking for a brand new trial, Mr. Diaz is once more asking a jury of his friends to judge what Tesla did to him and to supply simply compensation for the torrent of racist slurs that was directed at him,” his legal professionals stated.

Tesla didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

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U.S. District Decide William Orrick lowered the jury award, which was one of many largest of its sort in a discrimination lawsuit, to $15 million in April. He had additionally denied Tesla’s movement for a brand new trial, conditioned on Diaz’s acceptance of the decrease award.

Earlier this month the decide denied Diaz’s movement for permission to attraction that ruling and gave him two weeks to simply accept the decrease award or comply with a brand new trial.

Tesla is dealing with a sequence of lawsuits involving alleged widespread race discrimination and sexual harassment at its Fremont, California manufacturing unit, together with one by a California civil rights company.

Final week, a Tesla shareholder filed a lawsuit accusing the corporate’s chief govt, Elon Musk, and board of administrators of neglecting employee complaints and fostering a poisonous office tradition.

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Tesla has denied wrongdoing and says it has insurance policies in place to forestall and deal with office misconduct.

Diaz alleged that his colleagues and a supervisor subjected him to a hostile work atmosphere that included slurs, caricatures and swastikas in his 9 months working on the Fremont plant in 2015 and 2016.

A jury had awarded Diaz $6.9 million of compensatory damages and $130 million of punitive damages final October, however Orrick in April stated these numbers had been extreme.

Diaz’s legal professionals of their assertion on Tuesday stated Orrick’s choice highlighted systemic bias that federal judges have in opposition to juries, which in flip violates the constitutional rights plaintiffs should a trial by jury. (Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York Modifying by Jonathan Oatis and Mark Potter)

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