Denver Jury Awards Nearly $15 Million in Racial Discrimination Case

An article By KIRK MITCHELL  published in The Denver Post February 11, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.

A federal jury Wednesday awarded nearly $15 million to seven Commerce City warehouse workers who accused a trucking company of segregating workers by race, calling blacks “lazy, stupid Africans” and punishing those who complained.

Six of the plaintiffs are black, many from Mali. One plaintiff is a white whistle-blower who was fired for challenging racist practices of the California-based company. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in 2010.

“I thought I was back South again with the same old racist attitudes,” said plaintiff Ernie Duke, who was raised in Missouri.

The verdict against Matheson Trucking and Matheson Flight Extenders Inc. included $14 million in punitive damages, said attorney Lynn Feiger, who was among those representing the workers. The company handles and transports mail for the Postal Service and private vendors, including United Parcel Service and FedEx.

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