The crowd of plaintiffs, including the three attorneys in the case, celebrate outside the courtroom on Feb. 11, 2015. (Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post)A federal jury on Wednesday awarded nearly $15 million to seven Commerce City warehouse workers who accused a trucking company of segregating workers by race, calling blacks “stupid Africans” and punishing those who complained.Six of the plaintiffs were black, many from Mali, Africa. One plaintiff was a white whistleblower who was fired for challenging racist practices of the California-based company. The civil 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 U.S. Postal Service and private vendors, including UPS and Federal Express.A Matheson attorney said the company would appeal.Matheson “prides itself on hiring and employing a highly diverse workforce consisting of men and women of different races and cultures,” attorney Stacey Campbell said in a statement to The Denver Post.The judgment included $318,000 in back pay for employees who were fired, furloughed or had their hours cut because of their race, said plaintiff attorney Justin Plaskov. Another $650,000 was awarded for emotional distress. In addition, Matheson will likely have to pay the plaintiffs’ legal costs.All but two plaintiffs are or were mail handlers at a warehouse at 6875 E. 54th Place in Commerce City. Four plaintiffs were from Mali. One is from Brazil.At the business, black employees all worked on one side of the warehouse and whites worked on the other side, the lawsuit said. White supervisors and staff called employees racial epithets and “lazy, stupid Africans.”White employees and supervisors often used the “N-word” when referring to black workers, including an instance when an employee yelled that all blacks should be shot. A supervisor who heard the comment didn’t discipline the white employee, who was later promoted to … – Click Here To Visit Article Source