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Denny's operator sued over discrimination

Plaintiffs have filed a $4 million suit against a Florida Denny's franchisee for allegedly refusing to serve a group of Arab-American customers. Restaurant Collection Inc. is named in the complaint, filed in Miami Dade County Circuit Court. Plaintiffs seek $2 million in compensatory damages and another $2 million in punitive relief.

The incident allegedly occurred in January of last year. The complaint charges one plaintiff asked about the status of a food order after a one-hour wait. Restaurant manager Eduardo Ascano allegedly replied, "Bin Laden is in charge of the kitchen," before adding, "We don't serve Bin Ladens here."

The suit charges that Ascano had a prior history of rude behavior toward customers and that Restaurant Collection knew about it, but failed to act.

"Our clients are American citizens who deserve to receive their constitutionally and statutorily protected rights and to be treated with respect," said attorney Alan Kauffman. "This type of discriminatory action against minorities is not only an attack on Arab-Americans but an attack on America's core values and principles."

Neither the franchisee nor Denny's headquarters issued a statement about the suit.

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