The man accused of scrawling a racial slur on his Red Lobster receipt is now suing the company — and the waitress who posted his receipt online — for $1 million.
The suit, according to WSMV-TV in Nashville, stems from a September incident in which Toni Jenkins, a Red Lobster waitress, posted on Facebook a photo of a receipt from customer Devin Barnes.
On the line for the tip amount was written the word “none,” and below that was the word “n*****.”
Barnes, who is white, admitted writing “none” — because it was a takeout order — but vehemently denied writing the racial slur, going so far as to hire a handwriting expert whose testimony indicates neither Barnes nor his wife wrote the slur on the receipt.
Another handwriting expert analyzed the receipt after being contacted by The Daily Caller News Foundation and compared it to a copy of a writing sample from Jenkins. The expert determined that “within a reasonable degree of certainty” Jenkins had written the slur, the Daily Caller reported.
After the receipt went public, a “Tips for Toni” campaign raised more than $10,000 for the waitress, according to WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina.
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Jenkins responded at the time telling TheDCNF that she no longer believed that Barnes had written the word.
She said she would apologize to Barnes but maintained that she did not write the word either.
Asked if she planned to share any of the donations she received with Barnes, Jenkins said “Honestly I would…if there was any left.”
Red Lobster noted that “it is against our policy to post guest information online. Our standard procedure is to suspend the employee involved with pay while we determine what happened. After the completion of a full investigation into this matter, Ms. Jenkins returned to work.”
Sally Ann Barnes — Devin Barnes’ mother — said the receipt incident has “destroyed” her son.
“It’s still all over the Internet, it’s still very much affecting his life and our life,” she told WCBD. “This is never going to go away. This has permanently destroyed him.”
The suit charges Red Lobster and Jenkins with “willful and malicious acts, slander and the unauthorized release of Barnes’ personal information,” WCBD reported.
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