COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A civil complaint filed in state court in Richland County on June 6 claims that a man was denied use of the restrooms at five different convenient stores because of his race.
Daniel Woodard, who is described as an African-American man with disabilities in the suit, is asking for $5 million in damages after he was denied use of the restrooms at these stores in November 2016. The suit lists the business owners as the defendants.
The convenient stores in question are:
- City Gas, located at 6132 North Main Street
- El Cheapo, located at 4701 North Main Street
- Pops Shell Station, located at 4905 North Main Street
- Obama Convenience Store, located at 5831 North Main Street
- El Cheapo, located at 5901 North Main Street
Woodard claims that despite being a paying customer at the convenient stores, he was denied access to use the restrooms on "one or more occasions" by store employees or the business owners themselves.
The suit says a "private investigation" was launched, which showed that the stores "allowed white customers to use the restroom facilities" when asked.
The lawsuit says that actions of the business owners were acting with "intentional and purposeful discrimination against [Woodard] which occurred solely because of [Woodard's] race as an African American. "
Woodard also requests a jury trial in the suit.