Tesla To Face New Trial In Race-Bias Lawsuit After Ex-Worker Rejects $15M Payout

Tesla Inc TSLA will face a new trial related to the damages that it owes to a Black former factory worker after he turned down a $15 million award in a race discrimination lawsuit, Reuters reported on Monday.

What Happened: U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco ordered a new trial a week after the former elevator operator with Tesla, Owen Diaz, said he would not accept the award.

A jury had last October awarded Diaz a $137 million award. Orrick had in April lowered the $137 million jury award for Diaz to $15 million.

Diaz's lawyers said last week that the lower award was unjust because it undermined his constitutional rights to a trial by jury.

Orrick did not set a date for the new trial and has scheduled a conference for July 12.

See Also: Tesla Will Have To Pay Just One-Ninth Of The $137M Claim In Racism Lawsuit

Why It Matters: Diaz had in a 2017 lawsuit alleged that his colleagues and a supervisor at Tesla's Fremont assembly plant subjected him to a hostile work environment that included racist slurs, caricatures and swastikas.

The federal judge had found Diaz was subject to a hostile environment at the Tesla factory in Fremont and the company failed to stop the racism he faced.

See Also: Tesla Was Ordered To Pay Up $137M In Racism Lawsuit — Now, A Judge Says That's 'Too High'

Orrick had previously said the punitive damages were “extremely high” and that he could turn down Tesla’s demand for a retrial if Diaz agrees to a reduction in damages. 

Price Action: Tesla closed 0.3% lower at $734.8 on Monday, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

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