A steelworker formerly employed at ArcelorMittal‘s (NYSE:MT) now-shuttered plant in Lackawanna, N.Y., has been awarded $25 million in punitive damages for emotional distress by a federal jury.
Elijah Turley, who is black, sued his former employer, claiming that he was subjected to racial harassment by his co-workers between 2005 and 2008, Reuters noted.
According to Turley, the harassment included derogatory racial epithets and finding a stuffed monkey tied to his car with a noose around its neck. ArcelorMittal conceded the abuse Turley claimed, but said it had disciplined his co-workers and taken other reasonable steps to stop it.
Jurors, however, disagreed. They found that the company had allowed a hostile work environment to exist at the plant and awarded Turley for the emotional distress he experienced.
The company is considering whether to appeal the verdict.