When these Muslim women thought that they would get away easily with suing this restaurant, it backfired in the best way possible.
LAGUNA BEACH – A civil rights lawsuit filed last month by seven Muslim women claiming they were targeted and humiliated when forced to leave Urth Caffe by management is fraudulent, the owner of the Laguna Beach restaurant said in a counter-suit filed Wednesday.
“It is nothing short of an abuse of process to extort public apologies and other accommodations from my client, Urth Caffe,” said David Yerushalmi, co-founder and senior counsel for American Freedom Law Center, a national public interest law firm.
The cross-complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court alleges the lawsuit by the women is an abuse of process. The counter-suit accuses the women of trespassing at the cafe after being asked to leave.
Yerushalmi said in the suit that the restaurant staff was enforcing a policy that guests cannot exceed 45 minutes at a table without ordering when the cafe is busy. The women, who had pulled together three tables at the front patio, refused requests by cafe managers to share one table, or to move to the side of the patio or inside the restaurant, the lawsuit said.
The women became argumentative and insisted they would not leave the cafe even though they had not been asked to leave, the suit claims. They were eventually escorted out of the restaurant by Laguna Beach police.
The women, represented by three attorneys, said at a press conference in April that they were singled out and told to leave Urth Caffe on April 22 because they appeared to be Muslim. Six wore hijabs – a traditional headscarf in the Middle East.
Read more: OC Register