Ladera Ranch, CA asked in Business Law and Civil Litigation for California

Q: Hi, can a customer sue us for asking him to wear a mask?

We are a franchise restaurant located in Ladera Ranch Orange County California.

One customer came to our restaurant without the mask, so we asked him to cover his face.

He refused it due to medical condition. we never forced him to wear it, but asked him to place the order online.

He is taking a legal action right now and told us that we violated the civil right law.

He also showed us the Covid Guideline saying employees should avoid approaching others for the purpose of attempting to enforc e any face covering recommendation or requirement.

He is trying to sue us. Is there any law protecting our side?


2 Lawyer Answers
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: IMO you did not do anything wrong. There are Executive orders in place in California for people just like this person to wear a mask, especially in an establishment that serves food. He just does not want to wear it. If he has such a condition that he cannot wear a mask, he should provide you with a letter from his doctor exempting him. Did he do that? I think your suggestion for him to place the order online is a very reasonable one, since the alternative would be to deny him service, but you did not deny him service, you only denied him entry without a mask or his ESA peacock. A very old legal adage is that the freedom of your fist ends where my nose begins, so his freedom to refrain from wearing a mask ends where his exhaled breath can be inhaled by someone else, susceptible to COVID 19 death. He is just a bully trying to gain power through fear and intimidation.

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Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: With very limited exceptions, anyone can file a lawsuit. However, you will win based on the facts you stated here. If he really does file suit, depending on the court and his legal theory, you may even be able to recover any attorney fees you are required to spend. Since you no doubt have liability insurance, you just need to turn over any legal papers to the insurance company as soon as you get them, and they will provide a defense and lawyer for you. Keep doing what you are doing, for the good of everyone.

Yelena Gurevich and Maurice Mandel II agree with this answer

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