DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A judge has ruled in favor of a former metro Detroit bus system employee of Iraqi descent who said a co-worker made ethnic slurs against him.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Daniel O’Brien said in a ruling earlier this week that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation “created a hostile work environment” and “failed to take adequate steps to stop the offensive conduct.”

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Mazyn Barash, who now is 57, left SMART in 2004. The Farmington Hills man said threats and slurs started after 2001’s terrorist attacks and intensified near the start of the Iraq war in 2003. He was awarded about $450,000 in damages, back wages and attorney fees, but SMART appealed.

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The bus system’s attorneys strongly contested the ex-bus mechanic’s complaints. SMART said it’s reviewing the ruling.

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