Special to the Los Angeles Sentinel
Three Black women are suing the Cheesecake Factory, alleging they were discriminated against during a 2017 visit to the Redondo Beach restaurant by a male white server who used the term “you people” and by a manager who told them, “you are nobody.”
Latonia Whyte, Kimberly Jones and Lucy Ngaujah also allege in their Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that a female white manager threatened to sue them for taking cellphone footage of non-black customers being served after the plaintiffs were allegedly denied service.
The lawsuit filed Friday seeks unspecified damages on allegations of civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Sidney Greathouse, vice president of legal services for the Cheesecake Factory, issued a statement Monday regarding the lawsuit.
“We do not tolerate discrimination in any of our business practices,” the statement read. “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.”
The trio went to the Cheesecake Factory on Harbor Drive on July 1, 2017, to belatedly celebrate Jones’ birthday, their suit states.
About 20 minutes after Whyte and Ngaujah were seated, a white server told them, “I’m closing you both out and you people should leave,” the complaint alleges.