Jermaine Massey, who back in December said a Hilton Doubletree hotel in Oregon kicked him out while standing in the lobby while talking to his mom on his cell phone has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the chain.
Massey’s lawyer filed the lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, citing racism and discrimination and failure to “institute adequate policies and training that would prevent racial profiling,” the lawyers said, the Oregonian reported.
Massey said he was “treated unfairly” and ultimately removed from the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel after a security guard found his presence “offensive.”
Massey booked a room at the DoubleTree and had his key in hand when a guard approached him and started asking questions.
Massey said the security guard, who was white and identified in a viral video as “Earl,” told him he was loitering as he stood in the hotel lobby to take a call from his mother, who he said lives on the East Coast. Massey said he thought the call might be an emergency. But as he began talking, Earl approached him and things got heated pretty fast, he said in an Instagram post.
Massey said ultimately, he was forced to pack his things from the hotel and leave.
“Mr. Massey hopes to learn what policies of Hilton have led to these events, what Hilton has done in response to such events, and will ask the jury to punish Hilton as an example to other hotels who may be tempted to encourage or tolerate discrimination at their places of business,” said Portland attorney Jason Kafoury.
On Wednesday, Hilton said in a statement that a series of trainings were underway at all of its properties worldwide. And the company said it has worked with the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland, Oregon, to ensure employees received diversity and unconscious bias training.
“Hilton has zero tolerance for racism and is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all guests,” the statement said.
The $10 million lawsuit includes $3 million for his frustration, humiliation and feelings of racial stigmatization and $7 million in punitive damages.