Jury Awards Black Steelworker $25M for Harassment

by Christopher Freeburn | June 15, 2012 9:28 am

A steelworker formerly employed at ArcelorMittal‘s (NYSE:MT[1]) 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[2] 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.

  1. MT: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=MT
  2. claiming that he was subjected to racial harassment: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/14/tagblogsfindlawcom2012-decided-idUS14670001220120614

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