The Tuscaloosa Alabama alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. said they were discriminated against and refused an opportunity to rent a pavilion after a white employee realized they were a Black organization.
The fraternity has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Tuscaloosa restaurant Cypress Inn, Inc. and requesting “compensatory damages, punitive damages and for a judge to impose permanent injunctions barring Cypress Inn from engaging in illegal discriminatory conduct,” reports AL.com.
The complaint stems from a February incident after the Kappas rented the Cypress Inn’s Annex Pavilion and paid their deposit of $1,500. But they said when they came in February to tie up loose ends ahead of the planned event, a white woman who was a Cypress Inn employee told the group they could not rent the facility because they were not aware the Kappas were an “all black group.”
The lawsuit states that the Cypress Inn cited “insufficient security personnel” as the reason they could not proceed with the event. Even after the fraternity offered to pay for their own security, showed proof of insurance and showed proof they had successful events in the past, the restaurant declined.
Then they allege that the white owner later said they “kinda” had a bad history with Kappas in the past. The reservation fee was then refunded, the lawsuit states, and the Kappas were denied an opportunity to rent the facility.
The fraternity ultimately had to refund tickets and hold the event somewhere else.
The fraternity is asking for compensatory damages “in an amount that would fully compensate the Plaintiffs for their damages, including but not limited to their humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by Defendant’s violations of the law,” the lawsuit states.
Also, “award punitive damages to Plaintiffs in an amount sufficient to punish Defendant for the intentional, malicious, callous, bad faith, willful, wanton, and reckless misconduct.”