The Golden Corral restaurant in Collinsville is being sued by a Lebanon resident who claims he was defamed when its managers accused him of stealing a cell phone.
Cartrell W. Daniels filed suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court on April 12.
"...(He) was a person of good name, fame and reputation in and around Lebanon...and deservedly enjoyed the esteem and good opinion of his neighbors and other worthy citizens of that town," the suit claims.
Daniels claims he went to the restaurant with his parents and other family members on Dec. 23, 2011. During the visit he claims a manager told Rosalyn Daniels that Cartrell Daniels had stolen the manager's phone.
Later that day, Cartrell Daniels returned to the restaurant with his father and then both managers, Ty Kennedy and Ann Samuels, accused him of stealing the cell phone.
"Said accusations were made in front of other employees and customers," the suit claims.
"The words so spoken by the Defendants on each occasion, by and through its employees, intended to, and did, charge that Plaintiff had committed criminal offense of theft."
The suit claims the managers lacked reasonable grounds for making the accusations and spoke the words with reckless disregard of whether they were true or false.
"...the Plaintiff has been greatly injured in his reputation; he has suffered great humiliation and emotional distress; he has been submitted to public shame and has suffered emotional as a result thereof," the suit claims.
Daniels is represented by Philip R. Rice of Belleville.
He is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages.
St. Clair County case number 12-L-182