Mark Law Firm Blog

Settlement reached in racist receipt case

Posted by Jamison Mark on May 9, 2014 11:05:00 AM
New Jersey Attorneys

Earlier this year, Hyun Jin Lee filed a lawsuit against CVS due to alleged race discrimination. Lee, who had gone to her local CVS store in February to have photographs developed, stated that the clerk behind the counter changed the customer name on her receipt to read "Ching Chong Lee." Lee believes that this was not a mistake, but rather, that it was a race-based attack. In her original complaint, Lee explained her belief that "Ching Chong" is a pejorative term used to describe Asian Americans, and that the name was put on her receipt intentionally.

Lee claims that the incident made her uncomfortable entering CVS stores, and that she feared encountering the employee who wrote the racial epithet on her receipt. After the incident, Lee wrote to CVS's customer service department to complain about the receipt. The company apologized for the employee's behavior and stated that it would try to take action to counsel and train him so that similar incidents would not happen again. Unsatisfied with this response, Lee filed a lawsuit against CVS in April seeking $1 million in damages.

In August, a United States District Court judge received word from Lee's attorneys that a settlement had been reached in the case, and that Lee would be voluntarily withdrawing her complaint. Details of the settlement agreement have not been made public. Lee was able to reach a settlement in about six months from the time of the incident. Her story shows that with the help of experienced legal counsel, it may be possible to reach a quick resolution in clear cases of race-based discrimination.

Source: The Smoking Gun, "Ka-Ching! CVS Settles Racist Receipt Lawsuit," Sept. 5, 2013

Topics: Discrimination & Harassment