Barber sued for allegedly refusing to cut African-American’s hair

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 5, 2013, 5:29pm

LUFKIN - A Nacogdoches barber shop has been sued for violating federal law by allegedly refusing to cut an African-American man’s hair.

Scotty Riggans filed suit against Arriola Barber Shop and James Arriola on July 30 in the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division. 

Riggans, an African-American, visited the Arriola Barber Shop on June 19, 2012 and asked for a haircut. The barber said he would not cut Riggans' hair because he would lose his customers.

“In short, Defendants Arriola Barber Shop and James Arriola refused to contract with and/or provide services to Plaintiff Scotty Riggans as a result of his race, African-American,” the lawsuit states.

The defendants are accused of violating 42 U.S.C. which prohibits a business or individual from refusing to do business with a potential customer because of his race. The defendants are also accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiff is asking the court to issue an injunction to order the defendants to stop their refusal to provide services to African-Americans and for an award of compensatory damages for mental, emotional and psychological damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Riggans is represented by Alex A. Castetter of Stuckey, Garrigan & Castetter Law Offices in Nacogdoches.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 9:13-cv-00220

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