Peter Casbar and Noel Robichaux, a gay couple in their 40s, were gay bashed in July 2007 by employees of a Burger King in Union City, New Jersey, after what should’ve been a routine placing of an order turned into a violent altercation where BK staffers chased the couple out of the store before beating, kicking, and spitting on the men while screaming anti-gay slurs. A jury, which began hearing the 17-count case earlier this month filed under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, just awarded them $3.15 million, which includes $1.7 in punitive damages; the couple’s attorney did not specific how much money they were seeking.
The defendants were Food Service Properties Corp. and Union City Restaurant Corp., which owned the Burger King location, and not the fast food giant. Angel Caraballo and Christopher Soto, two employees involved in the attack, had already plead guilty of aggravated assault — which makes you wonder how the food companies didn’t conclude a settlement would be a cheaper option. A psychiatrist testifying for the plaintiffs said the couple now suffers from “manifestation of post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, withdrawals, and a chilling of their 11-year relationship.”