March 26, 2023

Portland Woman Who Was Told “I Don’t Serve Black People” by Gas Station Worker Awarded $1M in Damages by Jury

A jury awarded a 63-year-old Oregon girl $1 million in damages after a gasoline station attendant instructed her, “I don’t serve Black people.”

Rose Wakefield’s award additionally included $550,000 in punitive damages.

Gregory Kafoury, Wakefield’s lawyer, mentioned that on March 12, 2020, she stopped for gasoline at Jacksons Meals Retailer in Beaverton and noticed Nigel Powers, the attendant, ignore her whereas pumping gasoline for different drivers.

In accordance with Kafoury, when Wakefield requested for help, Energy instructed her, “I’ll get to you when I feel like it.”

A number of of Oregon’s bigger inhabitants facilities, together with Portland and Beaverton, require attendants at gasoline stations to pump gas for purchasers.

In accordance with video footage, Wakefield entered the shop to ask for assist, and one other worker adopted her outdoors to fill her gasoline tank.

Kafoury mentioned Wakefield requested Powers why he wouldn’t assist her, and he replied, “I don’t serve Black people.”

“I was like, ‘What world am I living in?’” Wakefield mentioned. “This is not supposed to go down like that. It was a terrible, terrible confrontation between me and this guy.”

Wakefield complained to supervisors twice the next week, however Kafoury claimed that her telephone calls had been routinely ignored.

After a month, Powers was let go after it was discovered by means of firm data that he had obtained many written warnings for utilizing his cellphone.

“Ms. Wakefield originally was just going to let this go,” Kafoury mentioned. “She told her friends that it was too disturbing, and she didn’t want to deal with it. And then she thought about it and said, ‘It’s too wrong. I have to do something about it.’”

The corporate issued an announcement saying it doesn’t tolerate discrimination and that it respectfully disagrees with the jury’s verdict as a result of “our knowledge does not align with the verdict.”

The assertion mentioned, “After carefully reviewing all facts and evidence, including video surveillance, we chose to take this matter to trial because we were comfortable based on our knowledge that the service-related concern actually reported by the customer was investigated and promptly addressed.”

In accordance with Kafoury, Powers was by no means questioned concerning the racist remarks and was merely disciplined for failing to serve prospects on time.