LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A woman who observes Muslim traditions is suing a movie theater chain, alleging she ordered a cheese pizza at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach in 2017 and was instead given one with a pepperoni topping, a portion of which she accidentally ate in the dark auditorium in violation of her religion’s law against consuming pork.
Kiara Rivers’ Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against American Multi-Cinema Inc. alleges religious discrimination, battery, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The suit filed Thursday seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
“As a devout Muslim, (Rivers) considers the consumption of pork a violation of her duties as a Muslim and detrimental to her spiritual purity to the point that nothing can be done to restore her spiritual integrity,” the suit states.
An AMC representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment. About 6 p.m. Nov. 23, 2017, Rivers bought a ticket for an evening showing of “Justice League” and explained to the clerk that eating pork is a violation of her religion, the suit states. She asked the employee to make sure the pizza did not contain any pepperoni and the clerk assured her it would not, according to the suit.
Rivers was wearing her hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women, the suit states.
About 10 to 15 minutes after ordering the pizza, it was delivered to her seat, the suit states. Never considering that the clerk would put pork on the pizza, she began eating and realized too late that there were pepperonis on it, the suit states.
She immediately spat out the pepperoni remains, the suit states.
“The dark nature of the movie theater made it impossible for (Rivers) to see the pepperonis prior to taking a bite,” the suit states. (Rivers) was devastated because she had consumed pork and immediately began to feel horror and fear. (She) was visibly upset because of the ramifications of her having consumed pork in violation of her religious beliefs.”
The effects of eating pork will be long-lasting on Rivers, the suit alleges.
“(Rivers) has gone into depression because she believes that the bacteria from the pork that she consumed can never and will never leave her body, no matter what she does,” according to the suit.