Los Angeles County Superior Court. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Photo by John Schreiber.

Buffalo Wild Wings was sued Tuesday by four black men who allege that a white server made a remark with racist undertones before demanding that they pay or produce a credit card before she would serve them at the restaurant chain’s Palmdale location.

Plaintiffs De’Andre L. Predom, Terrance Berry, Terry Brown and Darryl P. Douglas, who are seeking unspecified damages, allege civil rights violations, defamation, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Los Angeles Superior Court suit names the server, Michelle Rossi, and the restaurant’s manager, Isaac Duran, in addition to Buffalo Wild Wings, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

According to the lawsuit, the four men went to the restaurant on 10th Street on Aug. 12 and waited until a table was available. After being seated, Rossi approached and took their drink orders, the suit states.

Predom asked for a beer and his companions requested water, but Rossi told them they had to pay or give her a credit card before she would serve them, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs, surprised at the request, say they asked for an explanation.

Rossi allegedly replied: “I’m not going to pay for anybody’s meal. I’ve had you people run out on me before.”

After Berry told the server they did not feel comfortable paying in advance, Rossi “became upset and walked away in an aggressive manner,” the suit says.

Reluctant to believe they were being treated different because of their race, the four went to guests at other tables to ask if similar demands were made of them, according to the suit.

“The customers at these tables, all of whom were Caucasian, not of color, advised plaintiffs they had not been requested to do so,” the complaint says.

The four then complained to Duran, who told them Rossi was adhering to BWW policy and refused to do anything, the suit states.

But after the four told the manager that white guests said they were not treated the same way, Duran apologized and offered them gift cards, which they declined, according to the lawsuit. The four, upset at how they were treated, then left the restaurant, the suit states.

The alleged discrimination against the plaintiffs contradicts BWW representations to customers that the restaurant chain wants to “WOW people every day” and for customers to receive “the highest level of satisfaction with an extraordinary focus on friendly service, food, fun and value,” according to their court papers.

City News Service

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