Courthouse News reports here on the retrial of Diaz v. Tesla, which resulted in a $3 million punitive damages award.
We previously wrote about this case here, here, here, and here. The plaintiff, who claims he was subject to racist epithets and harassment while working for Tesla, originally won a verdict in federal district court for $7 million in compensatory damages and $130 million in punitive damages. The trial judge, District Court Judge William Orrick III, ordered a new trial unless the plaintiff would agree to a reduced verdict of $15 million. Plaintiff chose a retrial instead of taking the $15 million. That decision backfired, as the retrial resulted in a verdict of $175,000 in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages. While the lower amount of punitive damages is a “win” for Tesla compared to the $15 million (or the $130 million), Tesla may still challenge the award as excessive, noting that the reduced punitive damages are still more than 17 times higher than the reduced compensatory damages.