Former Tesla Fremont contractor appeals reduced award in racism lawsuit

Tesla Fremont
Credit: Tesla

A former Tesla contract worker is appealing a judge’s decision to slash his award in a racism lawsuit from $137 million to $15 million.

In a court filing on Wednesday, lawyers for Owen Diaz say the $15 million verdict was determined by referencing similar cases from Tacoma, Washington in 1997 and Buffalo, New York in 2012.

According to the filing, Diaz’s lawyers say U.S. District Judge William Orrick did not adequately take into account “the substantial inflation” when determining the reduced amount, making the $15 million “far less valuable than those other awards.” (via Bloomberg)

In deciding the original case last year, the jury found that Tesla did not take reasonable steps to prevent Diaz from being racially harassed during his nine months at the factory in 2015 and 2016.

The $137 million award is the largest ever given to a single plaintiff in a racial discrimination case in the United States.

Tesla appealed the verdict, with Judge Orrick agreed and called the original $137 million award “unconstitutionally large” when deciding it should instead be $15 million.

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