Hotel Shangri-La owner Tehmina Adaya will appeal a Los Angeles Superior Court jury verdict delivered on Wednesday that found she discriminated against a Jewish group using the hotel’s pool for an event on July 11, 2010.
The case, filed by 19 plaintiffs, is based on a civil lawsuit involving supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
According to the trial testimony, Adaya ordered hotel workers to remove members from a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces party and take down their banners and literature.
A statement from Hotel Shangri-La today said the group “were not hotel guests and used the property without a written contract.”
Although not available for interview, a statement from the hotel said Adaya “emphatically denies making discriminatory remarks during the event based on false statements from a former disgruntled employee who could not be found to testify in court.”
Ellen Adelman, Hotel Shangri-La business development officer, said she is a longtime senior executive who’s Jewish, as are several of her senior colleagues, and work closely with Adaya.
“She always has treated me and our multicultural staff with the greatest respect,” Adelman said in a statement. “I wasn’t allowed to testify despite the fact my name was on the witness list. We’re very disappointed with the jury’s decision and firmly maintain Ms. Adaya’s innocence. This is a miscarriage of justice.”
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