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September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
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Jury Throws Book at Muslim Hotel Owner for Throwing Jewish Guests Out of her Pool


Shangri-La Hotel owner Tamie Adaya (R) with her younger sister.

Shangri-La Hotel owner Tamie Adaya (R) with her younger sister.

After five days of deliberation, a Santa Monica jury announced on Wednesday that Shangri-La Hotel owner Tamie Adaya committed anti-Semitic discrimination when she uttered her now-famous cry, “Get the [expletive] Jews out of my pool!

The jury found for the plaintiffs on multiple acts of intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, malice, fraud and oppression, and violations of the California Civil Rights Act.

The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.

The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.

The 18 individual plaintiffs and one corporate plaintiff were awarded $1.2 million in compensatory damages, but the final amount Adaya and her company will owe is expected to go much higher, because the individual plaintiffs are entitled to punitive damages on many of the counts.  In addition, attorney James Turken is entitled to collect attorney’s fees from the defendant under the Unruh Act – California’s Civil Rights Act, which specifically outlaws discrimination based on age, sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Turken was quite emotional after the verdicts were read Wednesday evening.  He had just been through two of the most draining experiences of his life.  For one thing, Turken is a corporate defense litigator, and so to him this civil rights case, especially representing plaintiffs, was largely unfamiliar territory.  He took on the case, he told the Jewish Press, because when he learned the facts he became “outraged,” and because he was also “incredibly impressed” with the plaintiffs.

On Friday, when the case went to the jury for consideration, Turken went to the home of his younger brother.  He then sat by his side as Dr. David Turken was succumbing to defeat in his years-long battle with Leukemia.  Jim Turken said that his brother had been following the lawsuit closely, despite his dwindling strength.  Even at the very end, when David was drifting in and out of consciousness, he kept asking his brother whether the jury had come back yet.

Turken could not say enough good things about his clients, the plaintiffs.  He praised them on multiple occasions as “the very best we have to offer, these are young people trying to make a difference, who volunteer for all kinds of charities.”  He told The Jewish Press that “as a Jew, I took this case very personally, but the plaintiffs made it a pleasure – I was honored to represent them.”

Ari Ryan, the lead plaintiff in the case, explained why he felt it was so important to persevere through the long, tortuous legal proceeding. Ryan was one of the organizers of the Friends of the IDF event at the Shangri-La Hotel, and as the events unfolded, as the Jews with wristbands were being herded out of the pool, “the gravity of the situation weighed heavily on me.”  He said, “evil succeeds if good men and women don’t stand up and do what is right.”

Well, the Shangri-la plaintiffs did what was right, and in the end, their conviction and hard work were validated.

Tamie Adaya was not in the court room when the verdicts were read, but she is required to be present during the punitive damages phase which starts on Thursday.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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35 Responses to “Jury Throws Book at Muslim Hotel Owner for Throwing Jewish Guests Out of her Pool”

  1. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Check it out.

  2. Lauren Ks says:

    5 days? Disgusting! It took how many hours to NOT convict OJ but 5 days for this verdict?!?!

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    Thank you, Jesse Unruh, for getting this law enacted, and for Pat Brown, then California Governor (and father of the current governor) for signing it into law!

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    It was a complicated case with a lot of allegations. That they took five days shows that they took the mater seriously.

  5. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Thanks @Charlie – it may not seem complicated but there were a lot of different claims and 19 different plaintiffs – the jury had to consider each claim in the context of each plaintiff. The lawyer told me the jury worked through breaks and over lunches. Go American justice system!!

  6. Nevet Basker says:

    An important message that antiA-Semitism will not be tolerated, even in tolerant California.

  7. Finally ! Wow even in CA ..amazing

  8. thank you Nevet can you post this in our community page ?

  9. Paul Glick says:

    Thank G d for the positive decision Its about time something is going our way and makes me feel optimstic.

  10. Lauren Ks The *ONLY*disgusting thisng her is you Lauren too-f'ing cowardly to undetake my own name on facebook – calling a joyous righteous occasion "disgusting". Irish ho!

  11. May the owners of the hotel bleed doubly – as is said in Hebrew, kaful. May their financial statements reflect in the red until they go bankrupt. May their Islamic, barbaric, anti-semitic 'hearts' wither from within. And, this is just for starters! And, kol ha'kavod to the plaintiffs. Being one who NEVER backs down, this is very heartwarming. Too many of our people are pathetic cowards. Onward and upward. NEVER let our haters win. NEVER.

  12. Yaakov Levy says:

    this is great to hear, but we hope that she will be out of business for good.

  13. Helen Shmelin says:

    Shouldn't there be criminal charges for hate crime in this sitatuion? Should the owner(s) face jail time? I think so.

  14. Charlie Hall says:

    Hopefully the chain will pull the franchise.

  15. Charlie Hall says:

    I know Ronald Reagan is a hero to a lot of people, but it is a fact that the two Democrats Reagan defeated for California were Brown (1966) and Unruh (1970) and that Reagan opposed the federal law making this kind of action illegal. (I don't know whether he had a position on the earlier California law.)

  16. Chaiya Eitan says:

    May she wither up like the Wicked Witch of the West….

  17. Eva Owen says:

    Terrible!

  18. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Gabor Fränkl, please remove that post – that is totally inappropriate. I don't understand why you would do that, but please don't tell me, just delete your post immediately.

  19. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Gabor Fränkl, please remove that post – that is totally inappropriate. I don't understand why you would do that, but please don't tell me, just delete your post immediately.

  20. Bruce Becker says:

    WTH ? Try this….I know Hussein Obama is a Hero to a lot of mentally challenged people, but it is a fact the Jew-Hating Muslim has assaulted Israel verbally and with policies more than any other Country in the World including IRAN, and surrounding Israel with his newly installed Muslim Brotherhood Brothers in Egypt and other Countries in order to fulfill his Final solution for Six Million Jews…..

  21. what I want to know is why Jews are giving these people any business at all.

  22. ChristoperLee Farmer says:

    I truly hope the place comes to RUIN and the owners loose their hold of the place. Good thing I was not there because so god help me I would have been IN THEIR FACE and probably arrested. But after I got out I would taken the offended family to dinner and apologized for humanity's continued hatred of Jews…somebody has to make amends if the Jew haters refuse to it.

  23. It would be better for people to open their minds than to lose all their money.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Bruce Becker You're a total and utter disgrace to truth and humanity-

  25. Anonymous says:

    Yes, nothing ever goes "your" way…

  26. Marla Annette says:

    Bruce….get the help you need……REALLY….

  27. Marla Annette says:

    I don't wish anyone bad—the energy it takes to do so is toxic! Just feel sorry to have.
    such unfounded FEAR. To live with that in your heart and mind, is punishment enough–
    That, and of course it's nice to win a cash compensation…..just sayin……..

  28. viva israel……..from indonesia.

  29. Adriane Rivka Wolfson Bernstein says:

    @daryl, that was my first thought. "Why were they there? and on top of that, why an Israeli connect event. (It was a Friends of the IDF event)". My next thought was, "It is a good thing that this happened as it has shown that anti-semitic behavior will be punished". If all Jews did not go to places where anti-semitism exists and is tolerated, then the anti-semites will have won their battle and made certain their places are "Judein-ridden". We need to be proud as a people and stand up for our rights and feel free to go where we want.

  30. Mazel Tov! It's good to see that justice won.

  31. Anonymous says:

    YES!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Yes- justice prevails again! Thank g-d. Maybe these Jew haters will think twice about their bigoted behavior- this is America, not the middle east, and we in America live by laws, not the rule of one dictator, or a kangaroo court. Shangra-la should be on every Jewish organization's list, designated VERBOTTEN!

  33. Charlie Hall says:

    Helen, hate crimes laws require violence to person or property, or at least the threat of such. California's is unusually broad but it would still likely be difficult to get a conviction. Simple discrimination is a civil offense, not a crime.

  34. She is a sorry ben zonah! Unfortunately she don't tell this in my front!

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