Caterers, Opossum Said to Ruin Bar Mitzvah

     RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – A family’s Bar Mitzvah was ruined when a caterer served guests food that had been left outside overnight in an alley where it was rifled through by an opossum, a lawsuit filed by the event planner claims.
     In a lawsuit filed in Chesterfield County, Va. last week, Maryland-based event planner Rooftop Events LLC says it hired restaurateurs Kunal Shah and Bobby Kruger to provide food for a large Bar Mitzvah celebration n March 6 and 7, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
     It says it paid the caterers more than $21,000 in advance for their services, and worked closely with them, through their companies LX Group and Belle & James Catering, in advance of the event.
     “Despite the extensive planning,” Rooftop says, the defendants “… utterly failed to provide the agreed upon catering services in a competent and safe manner.”
     According to the complaint, the food prepared for the Bar Mitzvah sat unrefrigerated in the venue’s alley, alongside tarps, paint buckets and other garbage for more than 12 hours.
     Shah and Kruger were not deterred from serving this fare to guests, even after an opossum was discovered rifling through one of the outside food containers on the morning of the party, the lawsuit says.
     Additionally, Rooftop claims, the caterers prepared food in unsanitary conditions without gloves, hand washing stations or steps to ensure raw food was kept separate from cooked food items.
     It also says guests were served food on dirty dishes and drinks contaminated with ice from transport coolers.
     When an employee for Rooftop found trays of shaved chocolate, Brussels sprouts and potatoes unattended in a hallway the night before the party, a caterer allegedly instructed her to store the items in her car overnight.
     The event planners say they were forced to replace the inedible food with takeout from a local restaurant, and offered the family an expensive bottle of champagne to make up for the fiasco.
     Rooftop Events seeks the reimbursement of the $30,000 it paid for the substitute meal and an unspecified amount to make up what the family refused to pay after the event went wrong.
     It is represented by General Counsel of McLean, Va.
     The defendants did not respond to a request for comment from Courthouse News.

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