If you’re a car dealership owner hit by the tough times of a faltering economy there’s one surefire way to earn some cash, become part of a rival dealers attempts to discredit you by telling potential buyers you’re a Taliban sympathizing terrorist.
That’s the scenario that played out in Daphne, Alabama when a jury awarded Shawn Esfahani who a naturalized US citizen born in Iran with $7.5 million after a nearby dealership in Pensacola, Florida began spreading lies about terrorist ties.
It wasn’t just the fact that lies were spread but rather the maliciousness of those attacks. According to Reuters one salesman at the Pensacola dealership told a potentional buyer:
“(Esfahani) is funneling money back to his family and other terrorists,” while they went on to add, “I have a brother over there and what you’re doing is helping kill my brother.”
After deliberating for three hours the jury awarded Esfahani with $2.5 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages.
For his part Esfahani says the case shouldn’t be about the money but rather setting a precedent for all businesses to ensure radical targeting based off someone’s nationality doesn’t continue.
Do you think the $7.5 million settlement was the right decision made by the jury based on the blatant attacks against the plaintiff’s nationality?
[image via Shutterstock]