U.S. District Judge William Orrick, on Wednesday, ruled against ordering a third trial in a race discrimination lawsuit filed against Tesla. Thus, he dismissed the claim that Tesla's legal team committed misconduct during the earlier proceedings.
There is hope that the litigation between former Tesla elevator operator Owen Diaz and the company will be stopped. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick refused to order Diaz's next trial against Tesla. The decision was made in response to allegations from a former factory worker who alleged that the company's legal team acted unethically during earlier proceedings. Diaz's legal team argued that Tesla's lawyers used improper interrogation techniques, unfairly accused a witness of lying, and gave false testimony to jurors during a trial earlier this year.
In a written ruling, Judge Orrick upheld a jury verdict in April that awarded plaintiff Diaz $3.2 million in damages. He ruled that any alleged misconduct by Tesla's legal team did not have a significant enough impact on the trial to unfairly influence the jury's decision. The Judge also rejected Tesla's request to cut the award in half.
In Diaz v. Tesla, a former employee who worked as an elevator operator at the company's Fremont factory alleged that he was subjected to extensive racial harassment that included racial slurs and racist graffiti. In 2021, another jury initially awarded Diaz $137 million in damages. However, Judge Orrick ruled that the amount was excessive and ordered damages of $15 million. Diaz refused such compensation, so the judge ordered a second trial to determine appropriate compensation. As a result of the retrial, compensation was lowered further to $3.2 million.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.