In June, five black men sued Fourth Street Live, the Cordish facility in
In March, the dress code for several bars at
Among the clothing banned: "excessively long shirts," "excessively sagging pants," and sports jerseys (unless in conjunction with a
Also in March, a former employee and two patrons filed separate lawsuits relating to Cordish's Kansas City Power &
In response, Cordish filed a racketeering lawsuit saying the allegations are false and part of a scheme to extort money.
"The districts go to great lengths to ensure every one of our approximate 50 million annual guests is welcomed in a festive and safe environment and we are extremely proud that 99.99% of our patrons report positive experiences and frequent the districts again and again," Cordish spokeswoman
Dress codes are part of a code of conduct recommended by police and liquor agencies for safety, she said. The company notes that there have been no dress code problems at its facilities in
In August, the
The council waived its ability to regulate individual establishments at Waterside Live, allowing Cordish to operate them under one permit. Giving that authority to the developer concerned members of the
"The city needs to keep an eye on these lawsuits because they've turned over the keys to Waterside," he said.
In response to the
A December letter from Dickens to one of the bars in the district asked, "Would the
An attorney for Cordish met with Dickens that month to disprove her claims, the lawsuit said.
"Each time (he) proved to Defendants that the allegations being made against Plaintiffs were false, Defendants would change their story to attempt to make up new 'facts' that might be harder to disprove," the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit alleges that Dickens and her law firm constitute an enterprise trying to exert public pressure on Cordish and others to make them pay "large amounts of money."
In court papers, Cusimano said he was a lounge manager and security liaison for the district, working with a private security company.
He alleges he was ordered to hire a white man dubbed a "rabbit" to intentionally start arguments with black patrons in front of security.
"As soon as the argument started, security would move in and eject participants," the lawsuit says. "While the rabbit would also be ejected, he only had to walk around the corner and come in a different entrance."
Cusimano also alleges that callers making reservations over the phone at a bar were told it was booked if they sounded black. And Cusimano alleges that one of the nightclubs recruited two people to start a fight with him in August, leading to his termination.
The Cordish lawsuit responded that the lounge had no choice but to fire Cusimano because police had charged him with assault in the incident. Cusimano had previously been convicted of fraud, according to Cordish's lawsuit.
Cordish also came under fire in 2008 by members of the
The allegations don't appear to have shaken the
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