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Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Over Full-serve Treatment For Women

August 12, 1992

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) _ A man filed a $2 million sex discrimination lawsuit against Texaco Inc., a service station and its manager because an attendant pumped gas for women but refused to do it for him.

Ben Echeverria, an attorney, filed the lawsuit against White Plains, N.Y.-based Texaco, and station manager David Burgandy, in Vista Superior Court late last month. Echeverria said in the lawsuit that a promotion in June and July offering full service to women at self-service prices violated his civil rights.

″Echeverria has suffered unequal treatment, humiliation, and monetary loss as a result of paying the same price as women but receiving less service,″ the lawsuit said.

Texaco officials did immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press. Burgandy could not be reached for comment.

Also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit is Susan McElhinney, the office manager at Echeverria’s law firm. She said in the complaint that the promotion amounted to false advertising because the station failed to offer complete full service.

The lawsuit said full service should include checks of oil, battery, power steering, windshield washer fluid and tires. McElhinney said she only received a window wash and a tank filling, and she had to take her money to the cashier.

The station has discontinued the promotion and has laid off the two employees who were hired to provide the full service to women, according to a cashier.

Dawn Hall Cauthen, Echeverria’s lawyer, said the lawsuit was based on a 1985 state Supreme Court ruling that found ″ladies night″ price discounts at nightclubs to be a form of illegal discrimination against men.

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