A motion requesting a new trial following a wrongful termination case based on race discrimination was unsuccessful, a Los Angeles judge ruled in late September. This ensures that the $16.6 million award obtained by Carney Shegerian of Shegerian & Associates, Inc. in June will be upheld on behalf of client Rickey Moland.

Moland filed a suit against his former employer, McWane, Inc., a ductile iron product caster. The plaintiff alleged he’d been discriminated against due to race and was wrongfully terminated. The $16.6 million award is thought to be the largest racial discrimination verdict in California history and was comprised of $373,514 in economic damages, $2.5 million in non-economic damages, and $13.8 million in punitive damages.

Moland, a 53-year-old African-American man, began working for McWane, Inc. as a Production Supervisor in June of 2010. According to Moland’s complaint, he struggled to be treated with respect by many of his subordinates and superiors at the company, despite consistently excellent work performance. Despite this, he chose to continue to work hard, hoping that he would earn his colleagues’ respect.

Throughout his tenure as the first and only African-American manager in the McWane, Inc.’s Corona facility, Moland’s complaint describes how he was repeatedly referred to by other employees in racially derogatory terms. Managers and Human Resources became aware of this conduct, yet did nothing to stop it. Moland later learned from multiple sources that he was regularly referred to by “the n-word” behind his back by several employees, including supervisors and high-ranking management.

“Today’s affirmation of that verdict acts as a strong message to employers across the state that juries are not afraid to award what is deserved to mistreated employees,” said Shegerian.