What’s going on:
On Monday, a San Francisco federal jury delivered a ruling ordering Tesla to pay $3.2 million to a Black former employee, who had sued the electric-vehicle company for racial harassment. The verdict was much less than the $15 million settlement he had previously declined, according to Reuters.
After a week-long retrial in the 2017 lawsuit filed by plaintiff Owen Diaz, a jury delivered a verdict awarding him $137 million in 2021. The judge agreed that Tesla was liable, but deemed the amount excessive, prompting Diaz to decline a reduced award of $15 million and prompting the judge to order a new trial on damages.
Why it matters:
On Monday, the jury awarded former elevator operator Diaz $3,175,000 in damages — a combination of emotional distress damages and punitive damages meant to punish unlawful conduct and discourage future occurrences.
In a tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that had the judge allowed the company to introduce new evidence in the retrial, the verdict would’ve been “zero.”
How it’ll impact the future:
Tesla has vehemently denied any wrongdoings in the several cases involving individual workers, a class action by Black workers, and a separate case from a California civil rights agency that have alleged they were tolerating race discrimination at their Fremont plant and other workplaces