Judge Reduces $137 Million Race Harassment Verdict Against Tesla to $15 Million

A federal court docket choose pared down final 12 months’s jaw-dropping $137 million damages award towards Tesla in a racial bias lawsuit.  As lined beforehand right here, a San Francisco federal court docket jury awarded $6.9 million in emotional misery damages and $130 million in punitive damages to a Black former elevator operator who labored at Tesla’s Fremont facility for about one 12 months earlier than quitting his employment in 2016.  On April 13, 2022, the choose granted Tesla’s movement for a discount within the quantity of damages partly and denied Tesla’s movement for judgment as a matter of legislation that it’s not liable.  The choose defined in his order: “Great deference is owed to the jury’s verdict, but after careful review of the record, I conclude that the award of compensatory damages was excessive.”

Particularly, the choose lowered the emotional misery damages to $1.5 million, the best award supported by the proof, as in contrast to the $300,000 for which Tesla advocated.  With an eye fixed towards United States Supreme Courtroom precedent imposing constitutional limitations on punitive damages awards, the choose lowered the punitive damages to $13.5 million—9 occasions the quantity of compensatory damages—as opposed to the one-to-one ratio Tesla proposed.  Whereas the choose described the jury’s award as “unconstitutionally large,” he rejected the argument that no punitive damages are warranted.  The court docket granted the best doable ratio of punitive damages (9:1) beneath the USA Supreme Courtroom’s steering that it’s unlikely awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages will fulfill due course of.

The previous Tesla worker could not settle for the lowered damages and as an alternative request a brand new trial on damages – and Tesla presumably will attraction to the Ninth Circuit as effectively.  As we’ve famous earlier than herehere, and here, this case effectively exemplifies some great benefits of arbitration for employers and staff alike—arbitration presents elevated pace, finality, cost-efficiency, and predictability, that are all absent in a jury trial like this one.  We’ll proceed to monitor this case and supply any related updates.

Source link