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Photo courtesy of Power & Light District

Appeals court reinstates racial discrimination claim against Kansas City Power & Light operator



A federal appeals court has reinstated part of a lawsuit alleging that the operator of Kansas City’s Power & Light Entertainment District engaged in a “pattern and practice” of racial discrimination.

The lawsuit against The Cordish Companies was dismissed two years ago by U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith, who ruled that the claims asserted by Dante A. R. Combs and Adam S. Williams were not supported by the evidence.

Smith also ruled that because Combs had failed to list his discrimination claim over an incident at the Mosaic nightclub in a personal bankruptcy petition, he was barred from asserting that claim in the lawsuit against Cordish.

The two African-American men sued Cordish after they were removed from or not allowed to enter Mosaic and two other establishments in the popular downtown entertainment district. They claimed that Cordish paid white males, or so-called “rabbits,” to pick fights with African-American patrons as a pretext to eject them.

In reinstating Combs’ claim against Mosaic, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that because that incident occurred after Combs filed for bankruptcy, that claim should not have been dismissed.

Read more: KCUR

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