$460M awarded to ex-workers who sued California utility

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men who sued saying they were forced out of their jobs at a Southern California utility after complaining about sexual and racial harassment have been awarded $440 million in punitive damages, attorneys said.

A Los Angeles County jury awarded the punitive damages Thursday, on top of $24.6 million in compensatory damages won by Alfredo Martinez and Justin Page on Wednesday, The deRubertis Law Firm said in a statement.

The men sued electricity supplier SoCal Edison and its parent, Edison International, over activities in a utility office in the South Bay area of LA County.

Both men said they suffered retaliation after reporting harassment.

The jury awarded Martinez punitive damages of $300 million from Edison International and $100 million from SoCal Edison. Page was awarded $30 million in punitive damages from Edison International and $10 million from SoCal Edison.

Most of the compensatory sum — $22.37 million — was awarded to Martinez.

The defendants will try to overturn the verdict, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“The jury decision is not consistent with the facts and the law and does not reflect who we are or what we stand for, and we intend to challenge the decision and seek a new trial,” SoCal Edison spokeswoman Diane Castro said.

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