CHARLESTON – A man is suing Bob Evans Farms, Inc., after he claims he was discriminated against by a hostess at one of its restaurants.

On Dec. 26, 2010, Joel Acey was discriminated against by a Bob Evans hostess when he went to the restaurant with his child to enjoy a meal together, according to a complaint filed Dec. 11 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Acey claims when he arrived at the restaurant, he asked the hostess to be seated in the front of the restaurant, as the restaurant was not busy and space for seating was available. However, the hostess grabbed the menus and took Acey to the back of the restaurant, “slamming the menus on the table and said, ‘You damned idiot.’”

A waitress apologized to Acey for the hostess and told him she heard what the hostess had said, according to the suit, and Acey asked to speak with the manager.

Acey claims another nearby waitress also told him she had heard what the hostess had said, and when the manager, Steve Morris, came and spoke to him, he apologized and offered Acey a free meal, which he declined.

On Jan. 10, 2011, Acey was contacted by an unknown caller on his cell phone who stated that “if he did not drop the ‘Bob Evans thing’ something would happen,” according to the suit.

Acey claims on March 30, a letter was sent to Bob Evans Farms, Inc., in Columbus, Ohio, informing it of the incident. However, no effective response has been forthcoming, he claims.

The defendant intentionally discriminated against Acey because of his race, according to the suit.

Acey is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Henry E. Wood III.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2434

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