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Dec 2012

Jack Coakley secured the dismissal of a place of public accommodation discrimination claim filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination by a restaurant patron allegedly denied service by the Respondent restaurant.  The Complainant alleged that he was denied service at the restaurant due to his race.  At the time of the alleged incident, however, the restaurant was closing early due to a St. Patrick’s day parade that was taking place nearby.  Jack Coakley presented evidence that established that the restaurant had a history of closing early on parade day due to the fact that the parade prevented many of the restaurant’s usual customers from accessing the restaurant and that the restaurant tended to be instead patronized on parade day by people more interested in using the restrooms than purchasing food.  Jack Coakley also presented evidence that the Complainant entered the restaurant just before closing time and was not denied service.   The Complainant, in fact, was offered the chance to buy take-out food.   Jack Coakley also presented evidence that all other patrons entering the store at the same time as the Complainant were treated exactly the same as the Complainant was treated.  Finally, Jack Coakley presented evidence that the restaurant had a diverse staff and that the Complainant had been patronizing the restaurant for  years without incident or complaint.  After thoroughly investigating the allegations, the MCAD made a lack of probable cause finding with respect to the Complainant’s claim of discrimination and the case was dismissed.

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