Louisville mom files suit against restaurant in breastfeeding claim

Woman sues Texas Roadhouse over breastfeeding incident

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville mother has filed suit against Texas Roadhouse after she claims an employee shamed her for breastfeeding at the restaurant. The issue went viral last week after the mother, Sadie Durbin posted her story to Facebook.

She says it happened at the Texas Roadhouse in Saint Matthews. The company tells WAVE 3 News, there’s a lot of misinformation being circulated.

Durbin says she was having dinner at the restaurant Thursday night with her family and her seven-week-old daughter Isla was hungry.

“She had been nursing for maybe about five minutes and the manager came up and he had one of those big black napkins,” Durbin said. "He rushed up and was shaking his head and said ma’am we’re getting a lot of complaints and we are going to need you to cover up.”

Posted by Sadie Jackson Durbin on Thursday, November 15, 2018

Texas Roadhouse says the employee involved in the incident is not the manager.

“You know you are breaking the law,” she said she remembers saying. “I’m well within my rights to breastfeed my daughter here.”

Durbin says the employee leaned in with the napkin over her and her child.

“He said yeah I know, I have six kids, but we really need you to cover up," Durbin said.

She posted the incident on Facebook getting thousands of shares.

The lawsuit claims emotional distress, assault, negligent training and asks for punitive damages.

Texas Roadhouse Vice President of Communications Travis Doster told us, the company had a good meeting with Louisville La Leche members after the incident and understand the employee mishandled it, but Doster says the man is a good person who only offered a napkin.

“He meant no ill will and he did not know the law.” Doster continued, “He did not understand what he was doing and how it would be taken, so I would not characterize that as assault. I know some early Facebook posts said he threw a napkin, in our statement we say he politely offered, can I get you a cover up? "

The company maintains after publicly admitting the employee handled the situation wrong, they tried to personally apologize several times.

We asked Durbin why she didn’t accept Texas Roadhouse calls to apologize.

:To me it’s not about an apology, the damage is done, this affected me a lot more than I ever thought it would," Durbin said.

“They (Texas Roadhouse) need to train their employees on what the state of the law is, so they can act on it appropriately," Durbin’s attorney, Brenton Stanley with Morgan and Morgan said.

The Louisville mom maintains the suit isn’t about money, it’s about educating the public.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.