Wednesday, 22 June 2022 09:13

Tesla Ex-Employee Rejects $15M Award in Racial Abuse Lawsuit

Written by Maria Merano, Teslarati

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Former Tesla elevator operator Owen Diaz rejected a $15 million award in his lawsuit claiming racial abuse from his coworkers at the Fremont Factory in California. 

On June 7, U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said Diaz had two weeks to accept the $15 million payout. Orrick had reduced the award in April, from nearly $137 million.


Lawyers representing Diaz turned down Orrick’s award in a brief filing submitted to a San Francisco federal court. As per Reuters, Diaz’s lawyers claimed the award was unjust and would not deter future misconduct by Tesla. 


After stating Diaz had two weeks to accept the award, Orrick noted the former Tesla worker had no controlling question of law to justify an immediate appeal of the reduced payout. He further explained permitting an immediate appeal “would further delay [the] resolution of a case that is already five years old.” 


Diaz sued Tesla in 2017. His lawyers disagreed with Orrick, arguing a question of law regarding damages for emotional distress justified an immediate appeal. By rejecting the $15 million award, Diaz’s lawyers opened the door for a new trial.


“In rejecting the court’s excessive reduction by asking for a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to evaluate what Tesla did to him and to provide just compensation for the torrent of racist slurs that was directed at him,” said the lawyers of the former Fremont Factory employee. 


We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.