Subway restaurant customer sues franchisee after video captures alleged assault

Tina Richardson is seeking $25,000 over the incident.

ByJ. Gabriel Ware
March 23, 2019, 12:52 AM

A North Carolina woman has filed a $25,000 lawsuit against a Subway sandwich shop franchisee after he allegedly slapped her during a dispute over a sandwich.

Elizabeth Hinson, who goes by the name Tina Richardson, went to a Subway owned by Kenneth Lancaster in Concord, North Carolina, on March 8 to get a Sesame-Ginger Glazed Chicken Wrap for an elderly woman when an argument ensued, according to the lawsuit filed in Rowan County on March 18.

The elderly woman told Richardson the wrap did not appear like the picture on the flyer advertisement, nor tasted like ginger. Richardson returned to the Subway and asked for a refund, which the employee refused, according to the complaint.

That’s when Lancaster appeared from the back and yelled expletives at her and told her to leave the store. Almost immediately after Richardson began recording the dispute with her cellphone, Lancaster approached Richardson and hit her, according to the complaint.

Richardson shared the video on her Facebook page, and the post has garnered 2 million views, Bo Caudill, Richardson’s attorney, told ABC News.

PHOTO: Kenneth Lancaster, the owner of a Subway franchise in Concord, North Carolina, was sued for allegedly hitting a customer on March 8, 2019.
Kenneth Lancaster, the owner of a Subway franchise in Concord, North Carolina, was sued for allegedly hitting a customer on March 8, 2019.
Tina Richardson

“When she did not get the wrap that she ordered, Ms. Richardson returned to Subway expecting a simple refund. Instead, she received a slap in the face,” Caudill told ABC News in a statement. “The violent conduct depicted in the video is disgraceful and deplorable, and should greatly concern everyone who eats at Subway and expects Subway stores and their owners to provide a safe, family-friendly environment, free of sexist discrimination and violence.”

Subway, on behalf of Lancaster, released a statement expressing regret for the incident, and saying it does not meet the company's standards.

"Providing an excellent guest experience is important to us and our expectation is that everyone is treated with respect," Subway said in a statement to Charlotte ABC affiliate WSOC earlier this month. "The local team has reached out to the guest to apologize on behalf of the restaurant as this incident is inconsistent with the high standards Subway restaurants requires of its Franchise Owners. The Franchise Owner expressed his regrets for how he handled the situation."

Caudill disputed that the company had reached out to Richardson directly.

Richardson is seeking compensation for physical and emotional harm.

"He doesn't get to treat anybody like that. ... Get somebody into Subway to treat people with respect and fix problems when you're wrong," Richardson told WSOC. "That's what you're supposed to do."

ABC News' efforts to reach Lancaster for comment were unsuccessful .