During 14 years of litigation over his claims that he was denied a job promotion because he is black, John Hithon has twice been awarded jury verdicts of more than $1 million. His case also prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to say that using the word “boy” to describe an African-American man could by itself be evidence of race discrimination.

But Hithon and his lawyer have not convinced the federal appeals court in Atlanta of his legal arguments. On Tuesday a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed a prior 11th Circuit ruling that said evidence of the use of the term “boy” in this case — allegedly by a white Tyson Foods poultry plant manager to address Hithon and another plaintiff — wasn’t enough to support a jury finding that Hithon suffered racial discrimination.

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