Birmingham, AL (PRWEB) June 1, 2005
A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Alabama (Western Division) against Dillard's, Inc. alleging racial discrimination, deceptive sales practices, and unconscionable conduct relating to the marketing and sale of beauty salon services.
The civil action (No. CV-05-TMP-0305-W) is brought by plaintiff Debbie Deavers Sturvisant, a resident of Springville, Alabama, as a class action on behalf of all African American persons who have purchased over-priced salon services from any one of the Dillard Salons in the United States and who were harmed by the nationwide course of conduct practiced by Dillard's.
The complaint, which has been filed by Attorneys Patrick Cooper and Percy Badham from the Alabama Law Firm of Maynard, Cooper and Gale, PC, states that ÂDillard's intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff and class members by charging them higher prices for the same salon service as those charged to similarly situated Caucasian customers and by specifically instructing their employees and agents to charge higher prices for the same salon services based solely on whether the customer was African American or Caucasian. By charging higher prices to African-Americans for the same salon services offered to Caucasian customers, Dillard's violated the rights of plaintiff and class members to make and enforce contracts for products and services on the same terms as Caucasian customers,Â the complaint reads.
Debbie Sturvisant went to the Dillard's Salon in Tuscaloosa, AL to have her hair washed and set; she was charged $30 for these services Â the price for a wash and set for ÂethnicÂ hair. The price charged for the same service provided to Caucasian customers is $20.00. Vaughan Thomas, another class member, experienced the same mistreatment at DillardÂs in Montgomery (AL) and tape-recorded her conversation with the stylists. Upon questioning the high price charged for service, Thomas was told that it takes longer for ethnic hair to dry and more conditioners are used.
Representing the plaintiff, Attorney Cooper says, ÂDillard's knowingly has maintained a fraudulent and unlawful scheme in order to increase its own revenues and profitability to the detriment of class members by utilizing racially discriminatory dual pricing schedules for salon services. At all times in advertising and selling these salon services, Dillard's and its agents did not disclose this fact to African Americans prior to providing the service and products. Dillard's had an affirmative duty to monitor its salon managers and employees to prevent this type of racist activity.
Dillard's, a Delaware Corporation, with its home office in Little Rock, Arkansas, owns and operates approximately 340 retail department stores located in twenty-nine states. With a concentration of stores in the South and Southwest, DillardÂs has faced a least three lawsuits claiming racial discrimination since 1998.
The plaintiff seeks injunctive and equitable relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages and other remedies to compensate class members for Dillard's unlawful and racially discriminatory conduct.
404-505-8188 (cell 404-226-8000)
Note to the Press:
For interviews with Ms. Sturvisant, Ms. Thomas and their attorney, Patrick Cooper, please contact First Class, Inc. at 404-505-8188.
A full written transcript of the recorded conversation between the plaintiff and two salon employees is available and can be emailed. A DVD of the conversation can be mailed upon request.
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