Listen to this Article
The National Trial Lawyers has named Larry Organ of the California Civil Rights Law Group its “Trial Lawyer of the Year” for his work on the groundbreaking race harassment case Owen Diaz v. Tesla which resulted in a $136.9 million verdict.
Miami, FL – The National Trial Lawyers held its annual summit in Miami Beach, Florida from January 31 through February 2, 2022. The 5,000 plus member organization named Larry Organ as its civil Trial Lawyer of the Year for his efforts in fighting the Diaz case against Tesla, Inc. The $136.9 million verdict is believed to be the largest jury award for a race harassment verdict in American History.
Mr. Organ and the California Civil Rights Law Group filed the civil rights case on behalf of Owen Diaz under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 on October 16, 2017. The Diaz case came to trial on September 24, 2021, in federal court. During the trial, Mr. Diaz testified that he had been called the N-word more than sixty times by several of his supervisors. He also testified that he was subjected to racist graffiti including swastikas, the N-word and a picaninny. Three witnesses testified that they heard the N-word on a nearly daily basis throughout Tesla’s Fremont, California factory. Throughout trial Tesla maintained it was not responsible for the racist conduct directed at Mr. Diaz.
After three and a half hours of deliberations, the Jury awarded Mr. Diaz $6.9 million in emotional distress damages and $130 million in punitive damages. One juror stated publicly that “with the punitive damages the jury wants Tesla to take the most basic preventative measures and precautions they neglected to take as a large corporation to protect any employee within their factory.”
The National Trial Lawyers only award the “Trial Lawyer of the Year” honor to one civil attorney in the United States at their annual summit.
About California Civil Rights Law Group
The California Civil Rights Law Group, with offices in San Francisco, Oakland and San Anselmo and led by trial attorney Larry Organ, is dedicated to furthering the cause of employee civil rights.