Tesla Worker Denied Third Trial in Discrimination Lawsuit


A Black former factory worker at Tesla faces denial on a request for a third trial. The lawsuit was about the race-based discrimination that he faced when he worked at the company. A request for a third trial against the electric carmaker was denied by a California federal judge.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick was the one who denied the request. Instead, he upheld a previous ruling. The previous ruling had called for a compensation of $3.2 million to Mr. Owen Diaz. This compensation was decided in unison with a jury in the month of April this year.

The case had rejected claims of misconduct made by Tesla against Mr. Diaz. These claims were seen as an effort to reduce the compensation amount.

Judge Orrick delivered a written order on the matter. The justification of the verdict on his part stated “endemic racism at the Tesla factory and Tesla’s repeated failure to rectify it.”

Mr. Diaz used to work at the Tesla factory as an elevator operator. He recalls daily racist slurs and graffiti that was meant to degrade him. He had even complained to the authorities. However, Tesla decided to ignore his complaints.

Diaz’s legal team complained of inappropriate questions from the legal team at Tesla. They even accused a witness of lying in their statement. Tesla’s legal team went on to make misleading statements to the jury members in an attempt to misguide them.

The initial award was $137 million. However, Judge Orrick ordered that the amount was excessive. Diaz would reject any amount lower than $15 million.

Despite there not being a new trial, many hold that a $3.2 million award is substantial in this case. 

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