Maine woman wins $100K lawsuit

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - December 2012

A law firm says the corporation that owns Zales Jewelers has paid $100,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit in Maine.

The firm of Norman, Hanson & DeTroy says RyiSHisa Morris was denied service in 2010 at a Piercing Pagoda store at the Maine Mall. Piercing Pagoda is a division of Zale Corp., which is based in Irving, Texas.

The firm said the clerk used profanity and made derogatory comments toward Morris, who is black and Native American.

A Superior Court judge awarded $100,000 to Morris in May. The law firm said Zale’s paid the settlement after its appeal was denied on Nov. 27.

Roxane Barry, a Zale spokeswoman, said the company denied the allegations. She said it’s the company’s policy not to comment further on litigation.