Tesla Inc has requested a California federal decide who put aside a $137 million jury verdict in a manufacturing unit employee’s race discrimination case to order a totally new trial, arguing that continuing with a narrower trial simply on the problem of damages can be unconstitutional.
Tesla’s legal professionals in a submitting in San Francisco federal court docket on Friday stated jurors can’t decide how a lot the corporate ought to pay the employee, Owen Diaz, with out first listening to all the proof in regards to the alleged harassment that he confronted on the firm’s flagship Fremont, California meeting plant.
Telling the jury that Tesla has already been discovered responsible for tolerating discrimination would skew the case in favor of Diaz, violating Tesla’s proper to a good jury trial underneath the Seventh Modification of the U.S. Structure, the corporate stated.
U.S. District Choose William Orrick is scheduled to carry a listening to on Tesla’s movement on December 7. The damages trial is scheduled for March.
Attorneys for Tesla and Diaz didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon Monday.
Diaz in a 2017 lawsuit stated different staff used racist slurs and scrawled swastikas and slurs on toilet partitions on the plant. He additionally stated one supervisor drew a racist caricature close to his workstation.
A jury final 12 months awarded Diaz $137 million, one of many largest verdicts ever in a discrimination case involving a single employee. Orrick in April stated the proof amply supported the jury’s discovering that Tesla was liable for discrimination, however that the award was extreme and lowered it to $15 million.
Diaz’s legal professionals stated the decrease award was unjust and opted for a brand new trial on damages.
Tesla on Friday stated the problems of legal responsibility and damages are “inextricably interwoven,” and Diaz should begin from scratch with a full retrial.
“The legal responsibility and damages right here all activate precisely the identical factor: the purported extent, diploma and magnitude of racial slurs and symbols Mr. Diaz encountered on the Fremont manufacturing unit,” Tesla’s legal professionals wrote.
Tesla is going through a collection of lawsuits involving alleged widespread race discrimination and sexual harassment on the Fremont manufacturing unit, together with one by a California civil rights company.
The corporate final month counter-sued the company, claiming it filed the lawsuit with out following the procedures required by state regulation.
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