MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man who said he was fired because of his race and age has been awarded a major settlement in federal court.

Victor Boddie is celebrating what would be called a David versus Goliath courtroom victory.

“I was vindicated. I was definitely vindicated,” Boddie said. “I was just stunned. I didn’t cheer or anything. I was just stunned.”

Boddie had been an employee for 39 years with the Chemours Company, a spin-off division of Dupont Chemicals.

“I had goals. I had a plan on leaving at a certain time in my life, but when it happened…I knew I had to adjust,” Boddie said.

His attorney, Ralph Gibson, said Boddie was fired for unjustified reasons.

“The reasoning was he’d taken a shower, which put him out of his alleged work area, but the jury didn’t buy that,” Gibson said.

They sued the company for age and race discrimination.

“You have a 39-year employee who’s given his life to this company and its predecessor, Dupont, and they just essentially just throw him out like the trash and don’t even give him a chance to continue working there and retire with dignity,” Gibson said.

A jury handed down two verdicts, awarding Boddie $12 million in damages.

“This has been going on for a while really and it was like a big weight was lifted off my shoulder,” Boddie said.

Now, they hope other companies get the message.

“It’s also a deterrent for other companies when they see this type of verdict and those companies will be more careful in how they treat their employees in the future,” Gibson said.

As for Boddie, he said his life won’t change very much.

“I’m just a plain guy and I’m just going to make sure my family is okay,” Boddie said.

We reached out to the Chemours company for a statement, but so far, we haven’t heard back.