AM+F Client Awarded $136 Million Verdict Against Tesla In Racial Harassment Case

Tesla Inc. has been ordered by a federal jury to pay more than $130 million to Owen Diaz, a former elevator operator at the electric vehicle maker’s Fremont, California, factory.

The verdict condemns Tesla for failing to prevent other employees’ racial harassment of Mr. Diaz while on the job.

Mr. Diaz and his son

Mr. Diaz, represented by Alexander Morrison + Fehr LLP partner Bernard Alexander along with Larry Organ and Cimone Nunley from the California Civil Rights Law Group, was awarded this monumental verdict after repeatedly being called racial slurs by his co-workers and supervisors.

“I believe that’s the largest verdict in an individual race discrimination in employment case,” said David Oppenheimer, a clinical professor of law at Berkeley Law. “Class actions are of course in a different category.”

David Oppenheimer, Professor of Law at Berkeley Law
From left to right: Bernard Alexander and co-counsel Larry Organ(middle) soon after the verdict. Bryan Schwartz (right), has a pending class action against Tesla and was present to observe the trial.

The “n-word” was “pervasive and virtually everywhere,” Alexander said. He finished his closing remarks by citing some phrases from “The Hill We Climb,” a poem by Amanda Gorman, the 23-year-old poet who moved the nation at the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January. “Being American” is about stepping into the past and “how we repair it,” Alexander said.

Bernard Alexander, Lead Counsel

AM+F is proud to represent Mr. Diaz and other Californians like him who are seeking justice for workplace harassment and discrimination.

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