Hotel Shangri-La Found Liable for Discrimination in Violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act – $1.2 Million in Statutory Damages

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a discrimination lawsuit brought by a group of young supporters of a nonprofit organization, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, against Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica. Plaintiffs alleged that in the middle of a pool party organized by the group, the owner of the hotel, who is a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent, abruptly shut it down. For more details, see my original post. Yesterday, after days of deliberations, the jury found that the hotel and its owner violated the California Civil Rights Act and inflicted emotional distress upon the Plaintiffs. The jury awarded Plaintiffs more than $1.2 in statutory damages. A hearing on punitive damages is scheduled for Thursday, August 16, 2012. For the full story see the Los Angeles Times article, and the New York Times article.