Windsor Man Threatens Lawsuit after being Refused Service

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A Windsor, Ont. restaurant has been threatened with legal action after a customer was refused service for not wearing a mask.

It was a shock for the owners of Thai Palace 1140 Lauzon Rd., who have had a mask policy in place for months. Co-owner Renu Anderson tells The Afternoon News a man, who identified himself as a lawyer, approached the take-out window on Oct. 7. 

The window is outside, but Anderson says there is a sign informing customers masks must be worn at the window to protect themselves and staff from COVID-19 exposure.

"My staff talked to him for a couple minutes before they came to me to say, 'I tried to offer him, for free, a mask, a face shield and he said he doesn't want to wear it,'" she says.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit recommends people wear masks, even outdoors, if a two-metre physical distance cannot be maintained.

Anderson says the man then refused to comply and left without his food.

"I have the right as the owner of my business to say no to service if you don't wear the mask, that's what I said. He just left without $60 of food and was very mad," she added.

She says inside or out, if her staff is within 6-ft. of a customer they both need to be wearing a mask.

"We have the rules to protect my staff, myself, my family and my customers," she says. "I need to make sure everybody follows the rules."

AM800 News has obtained a copy of a letter delivered to Thai Palace on Oct. 8. It alleges the restaurant discriminated against the customer under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

It goes on to offer the restaurant the chance to settle for $20,000 by 5 p.m. on Oct. 16 should it not wish to move forward with litigation.

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(Photo courtesy of Thai Palace Co-owner Renu Anderson)

Anderson says she has consulted with her attorney and the restaurant has no intention of settling.

AM800 News has reached out to the lawyer who penned the letter, but has not received a response.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides.