A couple has filed a civil rights suit against a Redondo Beach hotel, alleging that staff members moved them to another hotel with inferior accommodations the night before they got married in 2019 because the groom is Latino, resulting in a "miserable wedding day experience.''
Jess Fernandez and Janet Heller brought the lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Portofino Hotel and Marina, alleging violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A Portofino representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Local news from across Southern California
According to the suit, Fernandez received a call from the Portofino front desk on Sept. 21 confirming the plaintiffs' guaranteed reservation by credit card for a third-floor, ocean-view room. The employee, who granted the couple's request to arrive late so they could prepare for their wedding the next day, said she looked forward to the pair's arrival, the suit states.
But when Fernandez and Heller got to the Portofino shortly after 9 p.m., the same desk clerk told them the room they reserved was no longer available and that they were instead being housed at the Hotel Hermosa in Hermosa Beach, the suit states.
The clerk's supervisor later told the couple the Portofino room they reserved had become "uninhabitable,'' even though the establishment's hotel room director previously showed Fernandez five rooms and all looked to be in order, according to the suit.
In addition, while waiting for the desk clerk's supervisor to arrive, Fernandez walked the third floor of the Portofino and "did not observe any indication of uninhabitable conditions,'' the suit states.
Fernandez also viewed "numerous Caucasian guests'' checking into the Portofino, according to the suit.
The replacement room at the Hotel Hermosa was inferior to what they expected at the Portofino and the street noise disrupted their sleep, resulting in a "miserable wedding day experience,'' the suit states.