SCRANTON, PA. (CN) – The Clarion Hotel in Scranton refused to rent rooms to a black family though it had 52 vacant rooms, and its desk clerk admitted that she would not rent to them because they are black, the family claims in Federal Court.
Eric Davis and his family also sued Choice Hotels International, the world’s second-largest hotel franchisor, which owns the Clarion, and also owns Comfort Suites, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inns, Quality and other inns and hotels.
Davis claims the Clarion Hotel’s front desk clerk, Lisa Pierce, told him there were no rooms available when he asked for one on the night of July 12, 2006. He says Pierce sent him to the Comfort Suites in Moosic.
There, Davis says, the clerk told him that hotel was full, but there were rooms available at the Clarion. Davis says the clerk called the Clarion and confirmed that there were 52 rooms available.
Davis says he drove back to the Clarion, where a different clerk told him there were rooms available. He says he saw the Clarion rent a room to three white men. He says Lisa Pierce then appeared from a back room, and he asked her, “Why did you tell me there was no room?”
Pierce told him, “There was a cancellation,” according to the complaint.
The complaint continues: “Mr. Davis replied, ‘You had 52 cancellations?’ to which Lisa Pierce replied, ‘I don’t have to explain anything to you. Get out of my hotel.’ Mr. Davis then asked, ‘Did you say there were suddenly no rooms available because I was black?’ to which Lisa Pierce replied, ‘Yes.'”
Davis says two witnesses outside his family saw this. He names them in the complaint. He demands punitive damages. He is represented by Craig Kalinoski.