Auto Worker Reacts to Latest Twist in Discrimination Lawsuit

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

STATELINE (WIFR) -- A Stateline Chrysler worker who won a discrimination suit against the auto company speaks out about his roller coaster legal battle; recently a court decision revoked his multi-million dollar award.

"They did a complete 180 here. So it was like, what really went on here. What happened? It doesn't smell kosher to me," says Otto May, who has been working at the Belvidere plant since the 1980s.

May found out last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of appeals ruled Chrysler doesn't have to pay him $3.5 million in punitive damages. Last year, a jury decided that the company didn't do enough to protect him from harassment from co-workers. The Cuban born Jew began this legal fight more than 15 years ago and says he has mixed emotions on the whole ordeal.

"I used to believe in the judicial system, and now I just don't believe in it because when I went to trial, which is what I wanted, to have my day in court, I won my trial. For the judge to make a mockery of the jury trial, it just doesn't make sense,” May says.

He was also awarded $700,000 in liability damages. That's been reduced to $300,000. May says he will file another appeal if he has that option.

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