A gay New Jersey couple who were chased and beaten by Burger King employees following a 2007 altercation have been awarded $3.15 million by a Hudson County jury.
In a civil trial that began Feb. 7, victims Peter Casbar, 43, and Noel Robichaux, 46, testified that a dispute with the person taking their order escalated to involve other workers and then became violent, even after the couple had left the Union City restaurant.
"The manager and a group of angry restaurant employees chased the couple and then mercilessly kicked, beat, and spat upon the two men while screaming hate-filled anti-gay invectives," the couple's attorney, James F. Fine said in a statement.
Casbar and Robichaux said they were victims of a hate crime and brought the lawsuit under New Jersey's antidiscrimination laws. The jury agreed and ordered Food Service Properties Corp. and Union City Restaurant Corp., which owned the Burger King where the incident occurred, to pay damages.
"Violence against anybody, including gay people, cannot be condoned," said Fine after the verdict. "The jury spoke to this issue."