RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM won an appeal in a racial bias lawsuit filed against the company that alleged the firm fired an employee for raising concerns about possible discrimination and racial bias, at least in part.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the $6 million pain and suffering award won by the plaintiff, Scott Kingston, was “shockingly excessive,” Reuters reported on Tuesday.

But the court did uphold a $5 million award for economic damages, Reuters reported.  IBM had appealed that decision, as well.

“Kingston had proved that his concerns about potential race discrimination played a role in his firing,” the Reuters story notes of the court’s decision.

Kingston is represented by the attorney Matthew Lee, who also represented Jerome Beard in a racial discrimination lawsuit that the parties settled in June of 2020.

The lawsuit filed by Lee on behalf of Kingston was filed in federal court in Seattle in 2019 and alleged that IBM violated Washington state law, claiming he had been fired in 2018 after refusing to lower a commission payment owed to a Black IBM employee.

Report: IBM settles lawsuit with Black software salesman over $2.4M in commissions

Beyond the racial bias lawsuit, IBM facing other lawsuits

IBM’s board of directors is conducting a review of the company, investigating claims that sales numbers were manipulated so that its executives could reap large financial bonuses.

A securities law class action lawsuit filed was filed against the company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in April of this year, alleging four senior executives misclassified “certain strategic imperatives revenues” that resulted in a large pay day for executives of the company, according to a filing the company made with the SEC recently.

IBM board investigating sales reports that led to big paydays for execs