A black former elevator operator at Tesla’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.
Lawyers for Owen Diaz, who had sued Tesla in 2017, turned down the decide’s award in a quick submitting in federal court docket in San Francisco. They mentioned in an announcement that the award was unjust and wouldn’t deter future misconduct by Tesla.
“In rejecting the court’s excessive reduction by asking for a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to evaluate what Tesla did to him and to provide just compensation for the torrent of racist slurs that was directed at him,” his attorneys mentioned.
Tesla didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
US District Judge 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 just accept the decrease award or comply with a brand new trial.
Tesla is going through a sequence of lawsuits involving alleged widespread race discrimination and sexual harassment at its Fremont, California manufacturing facility, together with one by a California civil rights company.
Last week, a Tesla shareholder filed a lawsuit accusing the company’s chief government, Elon Musk, and board of administrators of neglecting employee complaints and fostering a poisonous workplace tradition.
Tesla has denied wrongdoing and says it has insurance policies in place to forestall and tackle workplace misconduct.
Diaz alleged that his colleagues and a supervisor subjected him to a hostile work surroundings 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 mentioned these numbers had been extreme.
Diaz’s attorneys of their assertion on Tuesday mentioned Orrick’s resolution highlighted systemic bias that federal judges have in opposition to juries, which in flip violates the constitutional rights plaintiffs should a trial by jury.