Cracker Barrel May Face Another Lawsuit

Oct. 17, 2006— -- Civil Rights activist Al Sharpton and Rose Rock, the mother of comedian Chris Rock, will announce Wednesday they may file a lawsuit against the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain for refusing to serve black customers.

The action stems from a May 2006 incident at a Murrells Inlet, S.C., Cracker Barrel restaurant. Rock said "she and her daughter were refused service," Rachel Noerdlinger, a spokesperson for Sharpton, told ABC News. Complaints to the restaurant management and to the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission were not acted on, Noerdlinger said.

Rock, Sharpton and members of Sharpton's National Action Network plan to announce their intention to "fund a lawsuit" in front of the Murrells Inlet Cracker Barrel where Rock alleges the incident took place, Noerdlinger told ABC News.

Julie Davis, spokesperson for Cracker Barrel told ABC News they "...have no information about this incident," but they investigate all discrimination allegations. She would not comment on the possibility of a lawsuit.

"We don't tolerate any form of discrimination, it has always been a part of our policy, it's neither condoned nor tolerated," Davis said. "We take this very seriously," she added.

Cracker Barrel, owned by the CBRL Group, has already settled a 2004 discrimination lawsuit with the U.S. Justice Department.

In that case, the Justice Department alleged that in seven states, Cracker Barrel restaurants segregated customers by race, favored white customers and allowed white servers to refuse to wait on African-American customers.

Cracker Barrel settled and agreed to adopt 42 pages of regulations while admitting no wrongdoing.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that year also sued Cracker Barrel stores in Illinois for sex bias and racial harassment. This year Cracker Barrel entered into a $2 million consent decree to resolve that lawsuit.