Lesbian woman sues Sizzler Steakhouse after violent attackBreaking News Friday, July 29th, 2011
Leading LGBT civil rights organization Lamda Legal recently filed a lawsuit against a Queens, New York Sizzler Steakhouse after an employee allegedly attacked a lesbian woman for being gay. The suit was filed on behalf of Liza Friedlander, who was eating lunch at Forest Hills restaurant when the manager began shouting slurs and obscenities and proceeded to shove her to the ground.
According to the New York Daily News, what began as a quiet lunch between Friedlander and a few friends quickly became a terrifying encounter after the manager accused her of failing to pay for the buffet and flew into a violent rage. Friedlander claimed that the manager pushed and repeatedly kicked her while spouting off hateful slurs such as “f……dyke.”
The lawsuit indicated that other customers began harassing Friedlander as well, including one man who shouted at her to leave and called her a “he-she freak.”
Friedlander commented on being the target of such blatant discrimination, stating “Just because I don’t appear to be the Sizzler manager’s idea of what a woman should look like doesn’t mean that gives him permission to attack me and allow other customers to join in.”
Edgar Orellana, the manager who allegedly attacked Friedlander, denied claims that he physically and verbally abused her. He alleged that Friedlander was the one behaving violently, and that she became belligerent after the brunch period ended. Orellana told The Daily News, “I’m Hispanic. I respect people of all ethnicities, races or sexuality. I’m here to work, not hurt anyone.”
The friends who accompanied Friedlander to the steakhouse and witnessed the incident affirm her story, one of whom told press, “My friends and I went in for Saturday brunch, just like everyone else in the restaurant that morning, but it turned into a nightmare.” She added, “No one should have to go through that.”
Lamda Legal has not yet specified the damages they will seek on Friedlander’s behalf.
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