Former Tesla contractor rejects $15 million verdict in racism lawsuit

A former Fremont factory contract worker has decided to reject a $15 million payout in his racism lawsuit against Tesla.

In a court filing on Tuesday, Owen Diaz’s lawyers claim the award is unjust and would not prevent future misconduct by Tesla. (via Reuters)

Diaz had sued Tesla in 2017 for being subjected to a “torrent of racial slurs” while working as an elevator operator at the Fremont factory for nine months during 2015 and 2016.

The original verdict was handed down in October 2021, with a jury awarding Diaz $137 million, the single largest amount awarded in an individual race discrimination in employment case.

That amount was later slashed to $15 million by U.S. District Judge William Orrick in April 2022, saying it was “unconstitutionally large.” Diaz appealed the reduced award, but a judge denied the request and gave him until June 21, 2022 to either accept or reject the amount.

With Diaz rejecting the award, a new trial will likely take place soon.

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