Judge Orders New Trial in Tesla Racial Bias Lawsuit

According to Autoblog, a federal judge in San Francisco, California, has ruled in favor of a new trial for an ex-Tesla employee’s race bias lawsuit against the company.

The decision came after the plaintiff, Owen Diaz, last week refused a $15 million settlement proposed by the judge. U.S. District Judge William Orrick granted Tesla’s motion for a new trial in the case on Monday.

Diaz was originally awarded $137 million by a jury in October of last year. However, Orrick overturned that award in April. The Judge noted that Tesla was liable to Diaz for discrimination but that the recommended damages were excessive, and reduced the award to $15 million.

Diaz was a contract elevator operator at Tesla’s Fremont factory in California. In his lawsuit, filed in 2017, the ex-Tesla employee alleged that the Fremont factory was a racially hostile work environment where he was subjected to racial slurs, offensive caricatures, and more by colleagues and one supervisor.

Judge Orrick did not set a date for the new trial, but a conference is scheduled for July 12.

Tesla is currently facing multiple lawsuits accusing the company of rampant workplace misconduct, sexual harassment, and other forms of discrimination at its Fremont factory.

Earlier this month, a Tesla shareholder also filed a lawsuit against company CEO Elon Musk and other executives, alleging that they allowed a “toxic workplace culture” to develop at Tesla.