LOS ANGELES – A Black woman has settled her civil rights suit against IHOP in which she alleged she was told by a manager where she dined at the downtown Los Angeles location in April that she would have to pay her bill before her food was served.
Lawyers for plaintiff Lisa Hines filed court papers on Wednesday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly J. Fujie stating that the case was resolved, but no terms were divulged.
An IHOP representative issued a statement shortly after the Aug. 10 filing of the suit, which had also alleged intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
“Given this is pending litigation between our local L.A. franchisee and Ms. Hines, we are limited in what we can share but are treating this issue with the seriousness it warrants. Discrimination has no place in our restaurants and we strive to make every IHOP welcoming to all.”
Hines and her husband, Joshua Williams, went to the restaurant on Flower Street on April 29 and waited about 15 minutes to be seated even though the restaurant was not busy, the suit stated. Williams’ race is not stated in the complaint, nor is that of the manager.
The couple ordered food, but before it was brought, a manager told Hines she would have to pay for the food before it could be served, the suit stated.
Hines was the only Black person in the restaurant and did not see others customers asked to play first and when she asked the manager why she was being required to do so, the manager said it had to do with a manager shift change, the suit stated.
The manager’s explanation did not make any sense to Hines, who believes she was treated differently because she is Black, the suit stated. She and her husband “left the restaurant in a state of great shock and humiliation” and she continues to experience mental and emotional distress, according to the suit.