A Kentucky mom is suing Texas Roadhouse after a manager told her she had to cover up while breastfeeding her seven-week-old daughter. Claiming she suffered “extreme and severe emotional distress” after the employee proceeded to put a napkin over her baby’s face, Sadie Durbin, 30, filed the lawsuit in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Monday, November 19.
In a viral Facebook post, Durbin described the November 15 incident, which took place at a Louisville location of the popular restaurant chain: “David Mitchell, a manager at the Texas Roadhouse on Shelbyville Road, brought me a napkin and tried lying it over my nursing infant’s face as he explained that he had another patron complain and that he really needed me to cover up.”
The mom of two was appalled, particularly given that breastfeeding in public, with or without a cover, has been legal in Kentucky since 2006, under the KRS 211.75 state law. “I politely explained to him it is against the law for him to ask me to cover up and that I was well within my rights to feed my baby,” Durbin said, adding that he then “angrily walked away with a huff.”
When the manager refused to apologize or to allow Durbin to continue breastfeeding, the stay-at-home mom decided to take matters into her own hands, writing on Facebook, “There is not much that rattles me, but as I lie here in bed processing what happened, the tears continue to roll. I have never felt so humiliated in my life.” She is now suing Texas Roadhouse’s corporate office for not properly training employees how to handle breastfeeding moms.
Restaurant executives have since responded, apologizing for Mitchell’s behavior. The company firmly states it “supports the rights of all mothers to breastfeed their children in public, including in our restaurants…Unfortunately, our manager’s handling of this situation was misguided and wrong.”