A Middle Tennessee man is suing Red Lobster and a Franklin waitress for $1 million.
The lawsuit came after the waitress posted his guest check on the Internet with the n-word printed on it.
An attorney for Devin Barnes filed the complaint in a Williamson County court Thursday, citing a willful and malicious act, slander and unlawful release of Barnes’ personal information on the Internet.
Barnes’ mother, Sallyann, said her son’s reputation has been irreparably harmed.
“It’s still all over the Internet. It is still affecting his life and all of our lives.”
The incident occurred on September 7, 2013 when a waitress, Toni Christina Jenkins, took Barnes to-go order at a Franklin Red Lobster.
Barnes paid $44 for the meal with his check card and wrote “none” under the tip section.
A few days later Jenkins posted Barnes’ guest check on Facebook with the n-word prominently displayed along with Barnes’ personal information.
He said people around the world started threatening him after the post went viral.
In September of 2013, Barnes told News 2 he did not leave a tip, and did not write anything derogatory.
Barnes hired a handwriting expert who concluded that he did not write the offensive word.
Jenkins also claimed she did not write the n-word.
“I know I didn’t write it. If he says he didn’t write it, I believe him wholeheartedly. I’m that kind of person, I have nothing against him or his family,” she explained to News 2 last year.
Red Lobster released the following statement after learning of the lawsuit:
“As we shared before, 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, Miss Jenkins returned to work. As we also shared, we were disgusted by the language used on this guest check as it has no place in our restaurant or anywhere else.”
Jenkins received more than $10,000 in donations after the story gained publicity.
She used the money for college and gave some to her church.
- October 15, 2013: Red Lobster customer to file lawsuit after receipt posted online
- October 11, 2013: $10K donated to Franklin waitress who received racial slur as tip