Lizardo v. Denny Inc.

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Torts are the wrongful civil acts that infringe the rights and are recognised by the law to be the grounds for filing a lawsuit of civil legal liability. These acts have to result in an injury or harm to individuals for a lawsuit to be filed. Notably, the tort law applies to both the security personnel as well as their employers (Eroglu, 2008). Besides, the two parties’ liability could be questioned in certain situations, which happened in the case of Lizardo versus Denny Inc. The staff member and the two private security guards were under accusations of racial discrimination because of the manner in which they treated an altercation. The case was dismissed eventually because of lack of evidence. However, it depicts the importance of precaution that the security guards need to take because they can be in a situation of a civil lawsuit for breaking such laws (Harris, 2003).

Describe how the security guards and Denny's management should have handled the situation

            The officers in the case in question, Douglas Paninski as well as Kenneth Adams, who was employed as the private security guards for Denny's restaurant in the Syracuse in New York, involved themselves in an altercation with certain patrons (Harris, 2003). It should be noted that any of the organisations that are in the business of hospitality and especially those that serve customers late into the night where there most probably are cases of drunkards or the use of other substances. Such organisations should boost their level of tolerance a notch higher bearing in mind the kind of clients they may deal with sometimes. Therefore, in this case, the employment of a higher level of tolerance could have helped the restaurant manager to act in a more assertive, calm as well as diplomatic way by explaining to the customers to inform them the reason behind the delay they were experiencing.

            Further, in as much as the restaurants have no right to explicitly refuse an offering of services, the Civil Rights Act enacted in 1964 forbids the restaurants to form refusing to offer services to patrons based on the colour, race, national origin as well as religion (Eroglu, 2008). Additionally, most of the courts reject the plea by the restaurant to offer them permit to refuse the patrons any service based on conditions of final arbitration. Assuming that the security guards, as well as the management, knew the provisions of the said act and the implications of its violation, they should have exhibited extreme patience with the patrons in the restaurant. Therefore, the management of Denny, as well as the security guards, should have sorted the issue calmly in such a situation, which could have helped avoid the extremism in which they found themselves (Harris, 2003).

Explain why the security guards’ daytime occupation influenced the decision in the case

            The fact that the guards in question were in the daytime occupation meant that they were sober when the incident occurred (Eroglu, 2008). Therefore, it can be argued that steps taken by these guards at the parking lot happened to be within the scope of the two guards' profession and was aimed at accomplishing their duty of avoiding any disruption of the public peace by the plaintiff. Notably, as the restaurant's guards, they were highly expected to accordingly perform their designated duties and ask for assistance when necessary.    

Justify the court’s decision to neglect this as a case of discrimination

            A claim of discrimination should be presented in such a way that there is evidence showing that the minority group indeed fell victims while the major group received preferential treatments at the same organisation providing these services (Harris, 2003). Besides, there should be clear show that both the minor and major groups in the restaurant to be similar in significant respect but then the major group should have received treatment concerning the minor group or received hostility that is less compared to that of the minor group. This crucial evidence lacks in the plaintiff's case presentation. Additionally, establishments should be made on whether the group that is being discriminated against was involved in any of the activities that are protected under the statutes of anti-discrimination in this case regarding the United States Code that was enacted in the 1981against discrimination actions (Eroglu, 2008). Importantly, the discriminating party should appear or be exhibited to be knowing the participation of the minority party in the protected activities yet still proceed to take adverse action against these same minority. Also, there should be an exhibition of the news that exists between the protected activity and the discriminating party's adverse activity.

            Therefore, the court could only recognise the case if the discrimination was established and the group that claims they were discriminated against proves for the fact that the other party received preferential treatments if both were the same significant respect (Harris, 2003). It should also be displayed that the party that discriminated intentionally involved itself in the adverse action to the protected rights of the plaintiff to non-discrimination. Any explanations that come short of these explained level of evidence fail to amount to a case of discrimination.    

Asses how this case can serve as a precedent for the other cases and the conclusions that you can draw from this precedent

            The decision made in the court of appeal is by the district court's review. This decision is made following the examination of the entire record to determine whether there exists the proof of the defendant's intentional discrimination to the plaintiff by the provided facts (Harris, 2003). The court of appeal hence was tasked with the examination of all the relevant facts of the defendant and the plaintiff's case before a decision was reached. Therefore, it will form a good precedent since the court in question was detailed in the explanation of whatever amounted to or failed to amount to discrimination including the circumstances on which a situation would be considered discriminatory. Hence, the courts will have minor tasks in the subsequent and similar issues in the determination of the presence or lack of discrimination (Eroglu, 2008).


Eroglu, M. (2008). Multinational enterprises and tort liabilities: An interdisciplinary and comparative examination. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar

Harris, A. M. G. (2003). Shopping while black: applying 42 U.S.C S. 1981 to cases of consumer racial profiling, 3 (1). Retrieved from

December 12, 2023
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