The hotel guest who was booted from a DoubleTree hotel in Oregon for “calling his mother while black” from his cellphone in the hotel lobby is now seeking $10 million in a lawsuit.
We previously reported… the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland effed up big time in the way they treated Jermaine Massey on Dec. 22, 2018, while he was staying at the hotel. Massey, 34, filmed himself being removed from the premises by a security guard and Portland police, reports Willamette Week.
The incident, first reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, was initially described by the hotel as a “misunderstanding.” His eviction from his room for talking on the phone in the hotel lobby drew national attention .
Massey’s attorneys asked the hotel for a full accounting of why hotel security had “approached” him and “interrogated” him.
“Jermaine Massey was, ‘calling his mother while black,’ from a quiet corner of the lobby of the DoubleTree hotel in Portland,” they said in a press release. “Please explain in detail in what manner Mr. Massey was a threat to safety or security.”
The hotel apologized and claimed the two employees were fired over the incident.
Nearly a year later, Massey filed a lawsuit against the hotel chain Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. the Oregonian/OregonLive reported. His lawyers claim there’s systemic racism within the Hilton hotel chain, which owns 17 brands including the DoubleTree, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, Waldorf-Astoria and over 5,800 properties worldwide, per USA Today.
“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.
Hilton said in a statement that it “accelerated scheduled training for all franchise properties globally to ensure their employees have completed the diversity and unconscious bias training,” the report states.
“Hilton has zero tolerance for racism and is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all guests,” the statement said.
Massey’s lawsuit seeks $3 million for his frustration, humiliation and racial stigmatization. He also intends to sue for an additional $7 million in punitive damages.
The suit also lists the security guard and manager as defendants.