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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

CBS 46 Atlanta - Black customers file discrimination lawsuit against Waffle House

CBS 46 Atlanta - Black customers file discrimination lawsuit against Waffle House: "Black customers file discrimination lawsuit against Waffle House

January 18, 2005

ATLANTA (AP) -- A group of blacks who claim they experienced discrimination at Waffle Houses in three Georgia cities filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against the restaurant chain.

The Georgia lawsuit joins three others recently filed in North Carolina, Alabama and Virginia against the Norcross, Ga.-based company and its franchisees, who are accused of maintaining a pattern of discrimination and violations of federal civil rights laws among their employees.

The four lawsuits, along with 20 others filed in six southern states, allege that servers announced they would not serve black customers, deliberately served unsanitary food to minority patrons, ignored blacks while providing prompt service to whites, directed racial epithets at blacks and became verbally abusive when asked to wait on blacks.

One of the plaintiffs, Sharon Perry, 31, said she was required to prepay for her meal at a Savannah, Ga., Waffle House.

'I was shocked, I was disgusted by her attitude. When she spoke to us it was like we shouldn't have been there,' Perry said of her treatment at the restaurant. She added that the other black patrons in the Waffle House said they also had to pay upfront for their meals.

Perry spoke at one of four news conferences scheduled Tuesday in the four states. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People joined lawsuits in two of the states and endorsed the others.

'The NAACP supports this effort to obtain justice and respect for African American consumers and other people of color,' Angela Ciccolo, NAACP's interim chief counsel, said in a statement Tuesday. 'The NAACP will continue to demand fair and equal treatment and respect for African Americans and other people of color in dining establishments.'

Waffle House operates and franchis"

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