Party For One Alleges She Was Wrongfully Denied Table For Two On Valentine’s Day By Portland Restaurant, Seeks $100,000.00


Reportedly, a Portland, Oregon woman has filed suit, seeking $100,000.00 in connection with an attempted Valentine’s Day dinner gone awry.  According to the news reports:

. . . Kathleen Hampton, a small business owner, arrived at her 7 p.m. reservation — for two — by herself on Feb. 14 at Enzo’s Caffe Italiano on Northeast Alberta and was made to wait while parties who arrived after her were seated. Hampton’s husband was supposed to join her for dinner, but was still full from lunch and decided not to go.

Once seated, Hampton claims she was ignored ‘and was not getting any services.’ She then told a waitress she was ready to order, but the waitress replied that she would not be taking her order and that Hampton had to leave the restaurant and give up the table.

Hampton also tried to ‘give them away out’ (sic) and order take-out, but the restaurant told her they do not offer the service.

‘That was the final straw,’ Hampton said in the lawsuit. ‘I’ve never heard of a food place not having to-go.’

The restaurant denied any knowledge of the lawsuit, but a representative did remember the night a  bit differently:

‘She made [a] reservation for two and when she got there, said ‘Oh, just by myself,”Lanzadoro told Oregon Live. ‘We offered for her to sit at the bar with other single diners since Valentine’s Day is very busy and all we know is she got up [from the table] and left without paying after she drank two glasses of wine.’

Ms. Hampton’s pro se filing allegedly seeks $100,000.00 as a remedy for the embarrassment and humiliation that she experienced while attempting to dine alone at a table for two on that fateful Valentine’s Day.

We have some questions.  Could it be the old adage about a pro se litigant having a fool for a client is inapplicable here?  Could it be that Ms. Hampton is a fool like the fox – that she wants the jury to see her sitting alone at counsel table so that they will understand the loneliness she felt that evening at the restaurant? Or, will the unidentified husband show up at trial to fill the seat that he could not fill on the night that his wife was wrongfully denied a table for two?  Will the restaurant have an empty chair defense based on the husband causing the party for two to become a party of one?  Or more importantly, if the husband does not show up for trial, will the court allow Ms. Hampton to have multiple chairs at counsel table (just in case he shows up), or will she ironically only be permitted to have one chair?  Will the restaurant counterclaim for the price of the two glasses of wine that Ms. Hampton failed to pay for?

On a serious note, we have a feeling this case has reservations for 12(b)(6) (or as our friends in Oregon say, 21(A)(8)).

P.S. – Is “still full from lunch” a valid excuse to get out of Valentine’s Day dinner? Asking for a friend.