This news is a drastic regress for Owen Diaz, as the settlement value in his racial bias lawsuit was slashed by 90%. This cut could be largely attributed to Tesla’s lack of apology and acknowledgement of their wrongdoings. Despite this, Owen Diaz looks to continue fighting forward with legal action against the company.
This is the second time that Tesla has been found to be liable for racial harassment at its assembly plant. The first verdict came in 2017, when a jury ordered the company to pay $135 million in damages to two former employees. This recent verdict is particularly significant because it shows that Tesla’s failure to prevent discrimination and harassment can have serious emotional consequences for workers. Te
Diaz was disgruntled at Tesla over its failure to take appropriate action when he repeatedly reported racism and violence from employees. After a long and expensive lawsuit, the jury decided that Tesla had not taken enough corrective action, awarding Diaz $137 million. However, in June 2022 U.S. District Judge William Orrick reduced the award to $15 million after finding that it was excessive. Still, Diaz and his lawyers refused to accept this final amount claiming that it would not deter future misconduct from Tesla employers.
Punitive damages were introduced into American law as a way to punish the companies that perpetuate discrimination. Monday’s jury verdict against boxing star, Conor McGregor, shows that jurors are unwilling to punish him financially for his sexism and racism. While Diaz’s case was interesting in that it tested the boundaries of punitive damages, ultimately it failed because of how little chance there was of winning an excessive award.
Tesla is likely to have a harder time winning the second lawsuit because the jury was not made aware of all of Tesla’s behavior towards Mr. Diaz in 2017.
Tesla’s last trial was not designed to determine if the company was liable for racial harassment at their Fremont factory, but to instead ascertain an appropriate payout. The ban on introducing new evidence played a role in this outcome, as less evidence was presented at trial- something that Tesla had anticipated and hoped for. While the jury found against Tesla in overall liability, they did award a damages amount that is significantly lower than what plaintiffs were hoping for. This suggests that future suits against Tesla may not yield much success, given continuing allegations of racism within the company.
Bernard Alexander is hoping that the jury in his lawsuit against Tesla will award him nearly $160 million in damages-a direct message to other large companies who may not take discrimination seriously. Diaz’s testimony last week included a tearful recounting of various incidents at the factory during the nine months he worked there. The plaintiff said the job made him anxious and created a strained relationship with his son, who also worked at the factory.
The jury’s decision not to award Tesla worker, Rosa Diaz, with any damages could be seen as a win for the company. Diaz had claimed she was severely mistreated by her superiors at the company and that this led to emotional distress. However, her lawyers failed to provide any evidence of long-lasting damage caused by Tesla and instead focused their case on raising allegations of emotional distress that had already been raised numerous other times. It is clear from the verdict that Tesla’s management was able to refocus the trial on its claims of wrongdoing rather than let Diaz’s testimony disrupt its reputation.
The company is facing a number of similar lawsuits for tolerating racial and sexual harassment, but Tesla denies any wrongdoing. They have previously denied these claims and stated that they have a policy against such behavior.
‘This case is far from over.’
Tesla’s defense team attempted to introduce evidence of racist and sexual comments made by Diaz in an attempt to prejudice the jury, but Judge Orrick ruled that the evidence wasn’t new enough to be a valid infringement. Despite this setback, Tesla still has enough evidence against Diaz to win the trial.
Saba faces criminal charges and civil lawsuits from both sides. Meanwhile, Diaz’s family is facing their own struggles with cancer. Cross appeals are common in lawsuits because each side wants to make sure that every issue is fully considered by the court.
Whereas Elon Musk expects Tesla to bring a motion to reduce the punitive damages, Saba believes that $3 million is “an excessive amount compared to $175,000.”
The size of the punitive damages could have a significant impact on Tesla’s bottom line because it would significantly expand earlier investors’ losses. If Tesla were to receive less than $3 million in punitive damages, Saba believes this would signal that investors were not sufficiently harmed by the misconduct and could lead some of them to re-invest in Tesla. Conversely, ifTesla is awarded more than $3 million in punitive damages Saba predicts this would ignite investor anger and encourage them to sell their shares.
The case against Mr. Stone is far from over and the prosecutors are sure to continue looking into his activities in order to bring charges against him. It remains unclear what actions Mr