Ex-Tesla employee seeks new trial after jury award drops to $15 million

A former Tesla employee has requested a new lawsuit for workplace discrimination after the judge lowered the jury award from $137 million to $15 million.

Lawyers for Owen Diaz, a former elevator operator for Tesla, overturned the judge’s decision in federal court in San Francisco on June 21, according to Reuters.

“In rejecting the excessive curtailment of the court by seeking a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to assess what Tesla did to him and provide just compensation for the torrent of racial slurs that were addressed to him,” his lawyers said.

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Diaz sued Tesla in 2017 for racial bias. He claimed he was repeatedly harassed and called racial slurs during his nine months at Tesla’s Fremont factory.

The jury awarded Diaz a total of $137 million in damages last October, one of the largest awards in a discrimination lawsuit, Reuters wrote. But US District Judge William Orrick lowered the price to $15 million in April.

Diaz was given two weeks to accept the award or agree to a new trial.

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