Judge Drastically Reduces Black Employee’s $137 Million Discrimination Lawsuit Against Tesla

A jury found that Owen Diaz suffered racist incidents at the corporation.

In October, a federal jury awarded Owen Diaz nearly $136.9 million in damages for racist incidents he suffered in 2015 and 2016 while working at Tesla’s plant in Fremont, Calif. A judge has now reduced the multi-million dollar lawsuit.

According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge William Orrick called the $136.9 million “excessive” and "unconstitutionally large.” Orrick ordered Diaz to receive $15 million.

Bernard Alexander, Diaz’s lawyer, said in a statement, "The award of $15 million is substantial but does not come close to reflecting the harm caused to Mr. Diaz, or the reprehensibility of Tesla's conduct.” Diaz will appeal the judge’s decision.

Tesla has not released a statement.

The original award combined $6.9 million in compensatory damages and $130 million in punitive damages.

RELATED: UPDATE: McDonald’s Lawyer Issues Statement After Black Employees Sue

According to The New York Times, Diaz, an elevator operator, said co-workers, including a supervisor, repeatedly used a racial slur toward him. He endured racist graffiti in the bathroom and derogatory caricatures of Black children in the workplace.

RELATED: 11 Top Companies Hit With Employee Racial Discrimination Suits

Owen Diaz accused Tesla of largely ignoring his complaints.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.