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US man awarded $25 mn for workplace racial harassment

Published on 13/06/2012

A US jury has awarded $25 million in damages to an employee of a Luxembourg-based steel company who for years endured racial harassment at his workplace, the BuffaloNews.Com reported Wednesday

Elijah Turley, an African-American, had testified in a three-week trial that racial slurs and other incidents from 2005 to 2008 at a Lackawanna, New York steel plant left him a broken man, the newspaper reported.

“It’s absolutely shocking that a case like this is in court in 2012,” his lawyer, Ryan Mills, said in his closing argument. “It should be viewed as atrocious and intolerable in a civilized society.”

An eight-member jury unanimously found Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal and some of its executives responsible and on Tuesday awarded Turley $25 million in damages, most of it punitive, the newspaper said.

The steel giant, which had argued in court that it had taken reasonable steps to stop the incidents, was found liable for allowing a “hostile work environment” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”