Wednesday, 4 July 2018
Cheesecake Factory sued by 3 black women who claim they were called ‘You people’ & ‘You are nobody’
The Cheesecake Factory is being sued by three black women who claim a white server called them 'you people' and a manager told them 'you are nobody'. In their lawsuit Latonia Whyte, Kimberly Jones and Lucy Ngaujah allege they were discriminated against during a visit to the Cheesecake Factory in Redondo Beach.
The trio went there on July 1, 2017, to belatedly celebrate Jones' birthday, the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit states, NBC reported, About 20 minutes after Whyte and Ngaujah were seated, the complaint alleges a white server told them: 'I'm closing you both out and you people should leave.'
The women were told the restaurant's computers were down and would not be working for another 17-20 hours but were then offered soup, which arrived cold. According to the lawsuit, when Jones arrived later the three plaintiffs saw non-black customers including white guests adjacent to their table, being served food.
But the server refused to tend to the plaintiffs, telling them: 'I gave you soup. You can pay for your drinks and leave. If you want to order food, go to the bar.'
After Whtye asked if they were being treated different because they are black, the server replied, 'Yeah, that too', their suit alleges,
Two managers were working that night, including a white female who was dismissive of the plaintiffs after Ngaujah complained and a male who said he would serve them instead, the suit states.
The female manager came to the trio's table and demanded that Whyte turn over her cellphone, which she used to record non-black guests being served, according to the suit.
She also threatened to sue the women saying: 'You all think you're celebrities. Everybody wants to sue and you are nobody.'
Eventually, a black server came to the plaintiffs' table and served them the rest of the night and they paid their bill of under $95 before leaving, the suit says.
Several days later, Whyte complained and in responses received a $25 Cheesecake Factory gift certificate with the message: 'Very sorry to learn this visit was so disappointing.'
The lawsuit filed Friday seeks unspecified damages on allegations of civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In a statement Sidney Greathouse, Cheesecake Factory's vice president of legal services said: 'We do not tolerate discrimination in any of our business practices.
'While we will not comment on the facts of the case, we deny the allegations in the complaint and look forward to this matter being resolved in the appropriate forum.'