US Court Reduces Damages to Ex-Tesla Employee in Racism Suit, Reports Say
© AP Photo / Ben MargotThis May 12, 2020, file photo shows the Tesla plant, in Fremont, Calif. A jury in San Francisco says Tesla must pay nearly $137 million to a Black former worker who said he suffered racial abuse at the electric carmaker's San Francisco Bay Area factory.
© AP Photo / Ben Margot
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A US court ruled to reduce by nearly ten times the damages American tech company Tesla must pay to a former employee in a case of racial discrimination in the workplace, from $137 million to $15 million, US media reported on Thursday.
US District Judge William Orrick dubbed the original award as "excessive" but agreed with all the charges against the company, the newspaper points out. According to the judge, Tesla showed "striking" indifference to the plaintiff's complaints.
"Not only does the evidence support a finding of recklessness or indifference to Diaz’s health and safety, it supports a finding that Tesla intentionally built an employment structure that allowed it to take advantage of Diaz’s [and others’] labor for its benefit while attempting to avoid any of the obligations and responsibilities that employers owe employees," Judge Orrick was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.
Tesla made no comment about the situation.
On 5 October 2021, a California federal jury found Tesla liable for racial harassment in the workplace and failure to take adequate steps to stop the abuse. The plaintiff, a black former employee named Owen Diaz, was awarded nearly $137 million.
On Wednesday, a federal district court in San Francisco reduced the sum Tesla has to pay to $15 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. That amount includes moral damages of $1.5 million and punitive damages of $13.5 million. In doing so, the court rejected Tesla’s appeal that the damages should be reduced to $600,000.