Black Restaurant Patrons File Class Action against Pergola for Racial Profiling and Discrimination

Just four months after two Black men sued a popular Manhattan restaurant for refusing to serve them due to their race, a new Class Action claims there may be hundreds of other Black patrons who suffered racial hostility from Pergola restaurant’s bouncers and management. Today, Crumiller has filed an amended complaint asserting class claims of race discrimination against Pergola on behalf of Plaintiffs Joshua Smith, Cameron Niles, and a group of similarly situated Black individuals. The amended Class Action complaint alleges that for years, Pergola has selectively enforced its dress code and reservation policies to unlawfully deny Black people admission to the restaurant. Dozens of Black diners have taken to Yelp, Facebook, and Google over the years to air their frustrations at what they said were obvious instances of race-based mistreatment, according to the lawsuit. The filing includes screenshots of many online reviews from Black patrons who said they were turned away at the door while casually dressed white customers entered and exited the premises without issue, often without reservations. The complaint also includes screenshots of photos Pergola posted to its social media accounts showing white patrons dressed in casual attire including torn jeans, T-shirts and athletic apparel. The original filing by Plaintiffs Smith and Niles alleged that after they arrived at Pergola dressed nicely in button-down shirts and pants, the bouncer told them they were dressed too casually and unilaterally canceled their reservation, explaining that the manager “doesn’t let your kind of Black people in here.” The case is Smith et al v. Pergola Restaurant, No. 1:22-CV-4052 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Statement from Susan Crumiller, attorney for the Plaintiffs and Proposed Class: “Pergola’s history of casual racism has caused untold humiliation and psychological harm to dozens, if not hundreds of Black patrons over the years. Our hope is that by pursuing these claims on a class-wide basis, we are sending a message to Pergola that its racist behavior has got to stop. Period.” Crumiller is a feminist litigation firm that fights discrimination and sexual abuse in the workplace, healthcare and beyond. Media Contact: Jacob Eidingerjacob@crumiller.com(212) 390-8480

Continue Reading

Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Lorne Michaels to be Added to Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit against Horatio Sanz and NBC

NEW YORK, NY – Crumiller is proud to represent Jane Doe, the victim of child sex abuse by former Saturday Night Live star Horatio Sanz. Today, we filed in New York State Supreme Court a motion for leave to file a proposed Amended Complaint that adds Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan and Lorne Michaels as individual defendants, shedding new light on the abuses that took place at SNL more than 20 years ago. The move was made possible thanks to a recent amendment to NYC’s Gender Motivated Violence Act (GMVA), a local law that allows victims of gender-based violence to file civil lawsuits against abusers and enablers. The amended GMVA creates a two-year “lookback window” for expired civil claims of gender violence, similar to New York’s Child Victims Act. Jane’s new GMVA claims will be revived when the lookback window opens on March 1, 2023. Today, Jane’s tragic story of sexual abuse is revealed in much greater detail than previously reported. According to the filing, Michaels fostered a predatory environment at SNL in which visibly underage teenage girls were a regular presence at SNL’s legendary “after-parties” and “after-after parties,” where alcohol was provided to them by NBC. Fallon and Morgan were willing participants in this disturbing culture that ultimately led Jane to be sexually assaulted by Sanz at an SNL party with numerous witnesses present. After the assault, Jane suffered lifelong trauma and her mental health and career aspirations were completely detailed. The case is Jane Doe v. NBCUniversal Media., No. 951302/2021 in New York State Supreme Court. Statement from Susan Crumiller, attorney for Jane Doe: “Sanz and his enablers lured Jane into their celebrity world and made her feel like a cool kid for drinking and partying with a bunch of famous grown-ups. Instead, they destroyed her life. Jane has spent the past two decades struggling with the repercussions of what they did to her; now it’s their turn. We look forward to holding NBC, Sanz, and everyone else who enabled this disgusting behavior accountable when the GMVA lookback window opens in March.” Crumiller is a feminist litigation firm that fights discrimination and sexual abuse in the workplace, healthcare and beyond. Media Contact: Jacob Eidingerjacob@crumiller.com(212) 390-8480

Continue Reading

Lawsuit Accuses DiscGenics, Prominent Biopharma Firm Founded by ‘Dr. Death,’ of Being a ‘Nightmare’ for Female Employees

A new federal lawsuit accuses C-level executives at DiscGenics of repeatedly engaging in inappropriate and sexist behavior at work and pushing out two of its top employees for raising complaints to the company’s all-male board. DiscGenics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company founded by Christopher Duntsch, the infamous failed neurosurgeon who was depicted in the drama series Dr. Death on Peacock, as well as a true crime documentary and podcast, for allegedly killing and/or injuring 33 patients.

Continue Reading

The Vengeful Adversary:

Dirty Tactics and How to Fight Them Off

Our adversaries are getting more and more comfortable coloring outside the lines. Filing defamation cases based on demand letters, naming us attorneys in litigation to conflict us out, threatening extortion claims, are all creative ways that defense is trying to scare us in a misguided attempt to fend off meritorious cases. New SLAPP legislation can help, but only if you know how to use it. Don’t let sharp practice stop you from making big monetary demands, asserting aggressive claims, or speaking out on your client’s behalf.

Continue Reading

Doe v. NYC

Crumiller client Jane Doe, an Assistant District Attorney, was sexually assaulted in 2016 while at work by an NYPD officer and in 2019 was raped in her own home by a colleague. Her supervisors, human resources and the NYPD did nothing each time.

Continue Reading

Justice for Survivors of Dr. Ferdous Khandker

We are representing a growing number of women and girls who have accused Dr. Ferdous Khandker, a Queens practitioner, of sexual assault, after he made the mistake of suing his accusers for defamation. Read more here and please help our investigation by spreading the word as widely as possible.

Continue Reading