A Sikh woman is suing a go-kart park in a suburb of Chicago after her hair, which had never been cut in her life, got caught in a motor and staff members at Melrose Park Indoor Grand Prix reportedly proceeded to chop it off against her will.
Holly Hanjra claims that on Jan. 6, 2012, she pleaded with workers not to cut her hair and to instead call 911, but says that she was ignored.
Now, Hanjra is suing, charging that the incident caused distress and forced her to abandon one of the key elements of her faith, reported The Chicago Tribune.
“Melrose caused Holly severe emotional distress because in cutting her hair, they destroyed one of her symbols of to devotion to her religious faith,” reads a portion of the lawsuit, which was filed in Circuit Court of Cook County this month.
According to UPI, Hanjra, who is represented by lawyer Masoud Mirsafian, spent time in the hospital following the incident.
She is seeking $50,000 in damages, Courthouse News reported, for “assault and battery, emotional distress, willful and wanton conduct, negligent misconduct, negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent supervision” — and legal fees.
The group that accompanied her — made up of mostly Sikhs — also claimed in the lawsuit that they overheard staff members in the wake of the incident arguing about how they failed to notify those with long hair about go-karting risks.
The lawsuit argues that a safety video shown to customers at Melrose Park Indoor Grand Prix doesn’t warn of the possible dangers associated with getting one’s hair caught, though the clip does mention wearing a “head sock” if needed.
See the video (“head sock” mention is at the 1:30 mark):
Hair is an important part of the Sikh faith, as adherents generally allow it to grow as a symbol of their beliefs (read more about Sikhism here).
(H/T: Chicago Sun-Times)
Featured image via Shutterstock.com
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