Black ex-Tesla worker, 52, who claims he was called 'N-word', had swastika drawings left for him and faced 'daily racist epithets' REJECTS $15M payout after judge slashed it from $137M

  • Owen Diaz denied his $15million reward after it was dramatically cut from $137million 
  • A San Francisco jury award the former elevator operator the gigantic reward in October, but a district judge ruled it was too much in April 
  • US District Judge William Orrick also told Diaz he could not appeal the decision to reduce the payment and gave him two weeks to accept or go for a new trial 
  • Diaz has chosen to receive a new trial, his lawyer said in a statement
  • 'Mr. Diaz seeks to restore a fair and just punitive damages award that will punish and deter Tesla for the racist conduct to which Mr. Diaz was subjected [to]'  

A Black former Tesla worker who said he was harassed at the California plant and was called the 'N-word' has rejected his $15million award after it was cut from the $137million price tag by a judge.  

Owen Diaz, 52, claimed he faced 'daily racist epithets,' including the 'N-word,' while working at the company's Fremont plant between 2015 and 2016, which he claims is the 'hotbed of racist behavior.' He worked as a contracted elevator operator before quitting. 

Diaz had alleged that employees drew swastikas and left racist graffiti and drawings around the plant and that supervisors failed to stop the abuse. He also said one of his supervisors drew a person with a black face and a bone in his hair and wrote 'booo,' short for 'jigaboo.'

The supervisor then allegedly told him 'he couldn't take a joke' when Diaz confronted him. Diaz contended that none of his supervisors stepped in to stop the abuse.

He has now rejected his substantially reduced award of $15million after originally being offered $137million from a San Francisco jury in October.

Diaz was originally awarded $6.9million in damages for emotional distress and $130million in punitive damages in the case.

A judge slashed that by nearly 90 percent to $15million, which Diaz turned down, according to a court filing. 

Owen Diaz (pictured) rejected his $15million award after it was cut from the $137million price tag by a judge. His attorney said he 'seeks to restore a fair and just punitive damages award that will punish and deter Tesla for the racist conduct to which Mr. Diaz was subjected and to prevent future harassment from occurring'

Owen Diaz (pictured) rejected his $15million award after it was cut from the $137million price tag by a judge. His attorney said he 'seeks to restore a fair and just punitive damages award that will punish and deter Tesla for the racist conduct to which Mr. Diaz was subjected and to prevent future harassment from occurring'

Diaz claimed he faced 'daily racist epithets,' including the 'N-word,' while working at the company's Fremont plant between 2015 and 2016. He worked as a contracted elevator operator before quitting. He will now seek a new trial

Diaz claimed he faced 'daily racist epithets,' including the 'N-word,' while working at the company's Fremont plant between 2015 and 2016. He worked as a contracted elevator operator before quitting. He will now seek a new trial 

'Mr. Diaz seeks to restore a fair and just punitive damages award that will punish and deter Tesla for the racist conduct to which Mr. Diaz was subjected and to prevent future harassment from occurring,' his lawyer said in a statement to Bloomberg

The former Tesla employee will be seeking a new trial, according to his attorney Larry Organ. 

'In rejecting the court's excessive reduction by asking for a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to evaluate what Tesla did to him and to provide just compensation for the torrent of racist slurs that was directed at him,' the attorney said in a statement. 

Tesla reportedly requested a new trial, but was denied by US District Judge William Orrick on the condition that Diaz accepts the reduced award. 

Orrick also ruled Diaz couldn't appeal the April decision to cut the massive reward, Bloomberg reported, and gave him two weeks to accept the reward or agree to a new trial. The judge said the former Tesla employee didn't pinpoint 'questions of law' that would warrant a review of the judgement.

DailyMail.com has connected Tesla for comment. 

Last week, Tesla shareholders sued CEO Elon Musk for neglecting worker's complaints and fueling a toxic workplace, claiming it has caused Tesla 'financial harm and irreparable damage to the company's reputation'

Last week, Tesla shareholders sued CEO Elon Musk for neglecting worker's complaints and fueling a toxic workplace, claiming it has caused Tesla 'financial harm and irreparable damage to the company's reputation' 

Last week, Tesla shareholders sued CEO Elon Musk for neglecting worker's complaints and fueling a toxic workplace. 

The lawsuit was filed by shareholder Solomon Chau, who claims Musk 'created a toxic workplace culture grounded in racist and sexist abuse and discrimination against its own employees,' the lawsuit claimed.

Chau claimed the toxicity has cost the company 'financial harm and irreparable damage to the company's reputation.'

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Black ex-Tesla worker, 52, REJECTS $15M payout after judge slashed it from $137M

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