Back in February we drew your attention to a lawsuit that had been filed by a woman claiming that a restaurant had refused service to her because she was dining alone on Valentine’s Day. This week it was reported that that lawsuit has been settled. What is striking about the news article reporting the settlement is not details of the settlement (which are confidential) but the comments made by the restaurant owners’ lawyer about the impact of the case on their business.


Steve Bonfiglio, a Portland attorney hired by the restaurant to defend itself, said Tuesday that he couldn’t discuss the terms of the settlement or details of the incident. But he could talk about how stressful the ensuing publicity was for owner Enzo Lanzadoro and his son, Nick Lanzadoro.


They didn’t think Hampton’s claims were accurate.


“It was difficult to have that kind of news spread that far, that fast — and they couldn’t really talk about it,” Bonfiglio said. “They had to sit on their hands, remain quiet and wait through the process.”


Small businesses must shoulder more than the financial burdens frivolous litigation. The emotional toll litigation takes on small businesses is substantial.


We must work to ensure that only truly injured parties are encouraged to litigate their disputes.