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Ore. couple sues cab company, driver for being ditched on interstate

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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PORTLAND, Ore. — A lesbian couple who were left on the side of a freeway last summer by taxi cab driver who disliked the couple’s display of affection, has filed a lawsuit against the driver and his former employer.

Kate Neal and Shanako Devoll

Kate Neal and Shanako Devoll

In a suit filed last week, Kate Neal and Shanako Devoll say cab driver Ahmed Egal intentionally caused them emotional distress and held them under false arrest, and that Broadway Cab is guilty of negligence.

Neal and Devoll said that on July 25, 2013, Egal, then a driver for Broadway Cab, noticed they were being affectionate with each other, and started yelling homophobic comments and said “You can’t be gay in my cab.”

Neal said the driver pulled over on the side of Interstate 84 in Portland, and a second Broadway Cab appeared to pick them up, but the new driver also refused to take them home.

In August 2013, the city permanently revoked Egal’s taxi license because he failed to get his customers to their destination safely, and fined Broadway Cab $1,000.

In March, an investigation by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found that Egal discriminated against the women because of their sexual orientation, but dismissed the fine, saying the cab company was not responsible for Egal’s actions.

The suit alleges Broadway Cab failed to properly train and supervise Egal — and allowed him to continuing working “after knowledge of prior wrongful ejectments of passengers.”

The couple is seeking $38,000 in damages.

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