Hotel did discriminate against Jews, jury finds

By Jennifer Lipman, August 16, 2012

A jury has found that the Muslim owner of a fashionable hotel in California discriminated against a Jewish group.

The case came after an event in July 2010 was arranged at the Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica in aid of an Israeli charity that helps the children of fallen IDF soldiers to go to summer camps.

The pool party was called off early by the hotel's owner, Tehmina Adaya, when she discovered for whom it was being held. Security staff forced the partygoers to remove leaflets and get out of the pool not long after the event began, allegedly on the orders of Hotels in California cannot discriminate on the grounds of sex, race, color or religion, and Ms Adaya, a Muslim of Paikstani background, denied that she had done so.

But one of the hotel's former workers told the court that she had complained her family would pull money from the business if they discovered there was a Jewish event taking place.

The jury awarded the plaintiffs statutory damages of £764,000 and will decide on the amount of punitive damages later this week.

Last updated: 11:52am, August 16 2012