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I. Facts and Assumptions
Ruth Hatton, a waitress at a Pennsylvania Red Lobster restaurant served an African American couple. The wife ordered a well-done piece of prime rib but upon service, the wife complained that the meat was undercooked. The waitress had the meat returned to the kitchen to be cooked further. When the meat was served again, the wife was still displeased so the waitress offered the couple free dessert. However the customer pushed back her plate, paid the bill and left. Before leaving, the irate customer filled a restaurant comment card and deposited it in the customer comment box. Ms. Hatton then borrowed the key from the hostess and retrieved the card and accidentally threw it out. Because of this incident, Ms. Hatton was fired from her job.
It is assumed that Ms. Hatton took the card to get rid of it so that her supervisors would not see the customer complaint. On the other hand, Ms. Hatton maintains that she retrieved the card with the intention of showing it to Ms. Canant later. Also, only Ms. Hatton can testify that she inadvertently lost the card during her shift and did not throw it out on purpose....
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