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By MarcWites

Racial Discrimination Suit Filed on Behalf of Brazilian Celebrities

In November 2008, Mr. Nobre was vacationing in Florida, along with his wife, Adriana Bombom, a well-known Brazilian model and celebrity, and their two children. During their vacation in the United States, Mr. Nobre performed several concerts in New Jersey and South Florida. On November 17, 2008, Mr. Nobre, his family and his producer boarded a return flight from New York to Rio de Janeiro having concluded their vacation. Despite their celebrity in Brazil, Mr. Nobre and Ms. Bombom were not recognized at the airport or by other passengers prior to leaving New York. However, while on board the flight, American Airlines employees hurled racially charged slurs and discriminatory insults at Mr. Nobre and Ms. Bombom. Repeatedly during the flight, one American Airlines employee called Mr. Nobre a “monkey” in Portuguese and made monkey-like sounds while performing physical movements associated only with the behavior of a monkey. In addition, Mr. and Ms. Bombom were prohibited from standing up and stretching their legs on the flight, and were ignored when pressing the “Help” call button above their seats. Upon landing in Rio de Janeiro, Mr. Nobre and Ms. Bombom waited for the other passengers to deboard before they did so.
After exiting the airplane, the employees berated Mr. Nobre and Ms. Bombom for taking too long to deboard, and again called Mr. Nobre and Ms. Bombom “monkeys” in Portuguese and threatened physical harm. One flight attendant took an aggressive boxing stance and repeatedely attempted to provoke Mr. Nobre and Ms. Bombom to fight him. While in this position, the employee removed a sharp metal pen from his pocket and stabbed Mr. Nobre’s producer, Ivan Correa, Jr., causing puncture wounds to Mr. Correa’s skin. In light of the injuries suffered by Mr. Nobre, Ms. Bombom and Mr. Correa, Wites & Rogers was retained to file suit against American Airlines. Wites & Rogers has filed a lawsuit on their behalf against American Airlines. The parties brought their action under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 asserting claims of intentional discrimination based upon the parties’ race, color and/or national origin, as well as claims of discriminatory practices on behalf of American Airlines employees resulting in humiliation, shame, despair, embarrassment and mental pain and anguish.

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Marc A. Wites

Marc A. Wites is the founding shareholder of Wites & Rogers. He directs the firm’s litigation practice groups for personal injury and wrongful death cases, class actions, property insurance claims, sexual assault, and investment fraud.

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