Elmer's releases statement after Vancouver man files racial laws - KPTV - FOX 12

Elmer's releases statement after Vancouver man files racial lawsuit

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

Elmer's responded to a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against them by an African American man claiming it was a misunderstanding with the customer.

Brian Eason filed a racial discrimination suit against Elmer's after he said a waitress at a Vancouver location asked him to prepay for his meal because she said they had been having problems with people walking out without paying their bills.

But when Eason asked a white couple also inside the restaurant if they had to prepay, they said no.

On Friday, Elmer's Restaurants, Inc and Karsan, Inc. (a franchise of Elmer's) released a joint statement saying they have "experienced a number of "dine and dash" incidents in the bar area of its restaurant, prompting a policy requiring guests ordering drinks in this area to pay for the order when the drink was brought to the guest."

Elmer's said Eason was sitting in the bar area and that is why he was asked to prepay for his drink, not because of his race.

According to the statement, after the investigation of Eason's complaint, the Washington Human Rights Commission issued a "no reasonable cause" letter, terminating that proceeding and finding, "Investigation into Complainant's claim of denial of equal services because of race did not show a causal link between the different treatment and Complainant's race."

According to the statement, "Elmer's and Karsan assumed that this letter, and the Commission's findings, had ended the matter."

Elmer's said they will "defend and contest Eason's lawsuit." They said they offered an apology to Eason for the misunderstanding, which they hope can be resolved soon.

Eason is seeking $100,000 from Elmer’s. 

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