Photo: Gerardo Lago sues New York ABC affiliate for xenophobic abuse
A video editor for an ABC affiliate in New York is suing for what he says was “abusive, offensive and demeaning” language directed at him because he is Hispanic.
Gerardo Lago is suing Lauren Glassberg, Kemberly Richardson, and Stacey Sager, all WABC-TV Eyewitness News personalities for abusive and offensive language against home.
His suit, filed Thursday in the New York Supreme Court, also states that American Boardcasting Co. Inc, and its owner, Disney World Services are being sued as well. He is seeking a settlement of at least $18 million in damages.
Though Lago speaks with an accent, his lawyer stated he speaks “perfect English.”
Some dated examples given in the lawsuit are below.
July 15, 2009: Sager yelled at Lago about the editing of a story about a pipe bomb that exploded in front of a Starbucks in NYC and falsely blamed him for errors in the segment.
June 21, 2010: Richardson yelled profanities at Lago while he was her cameraman.
He also alleges that while he was working on Glassberg’s “Neighborhood Eats” segment, the reporter would tell people excuse Lago because he did not speak English.
When he tried to speak with the station about the abuse, he said it just made things worse.
Executives at the station and the newscast failed to make any effort to stop the abuse, the lawsuit said. Officials branded him a troublemaker and placed him on medical leave, without evaluation, on October 28, the lawsuit said. Putting him on medical leave was “improper, because there is nothing wrong with him,” Arnold said.
When he asked to return to work, his bosses ordered him to undergo an independent medical examination with a psychologist, Arnold said. Her client refused and they suspended him without pay on February 3.