BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal judge struck down $1 million in punitive damages that Tyson Foods Inc. had been ordered to pay in a racial bias case.

Reports said that U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Armstrong Jr. ruled that John Hithon was entitled to about $364,000 in damages from Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson, but not an additional $1 million in punitive damages a jury ordered last year.

Hithon's attorney, Alicia Haynes, told the press Wednesday that she is confident the verdict will be reinstated on appeal.

Hithon sued the company in 1995, contending he was passed over for a promotion at the plant by a manager who had referred to him occasionally as "boy." He alleged a less qualified white man got the position.

Armstrong reportedly set aside the punitive damages, finding the manager's actions could not be attributed to Tyson. The judge approved $300,000 for mental anguish, with the rest for back pay plus interest.


Source: Associated Press