July 25th, 2014 | by REBECCA TURLEY News | Posted In: Transportation, Cops and Courts

Same-Sex Couple Dropped on Interstate 84 Suing Broadway Cab for $38,000

broadwaycabBroadway Cab - Courtesy of KATU

The same-sex couple refused service by a Broadway Cab driver last July are now suing him and the taxi company for $38,000.

In a suit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Thursday, Kate Neal and Shanako Devoll say Ahmed Egal intentionally caused them emotional distress and held them under false arrest, and that Broadway Cab is guilty of negligence.

In March, the City of Portland dismissed a $1,000 fine against Broadway Cab, deciding the cab company was not responsible for Egal’s actions. The state Bureau of Labor and Industries found Egal discriminated against the women.

The incident created a media firestorm last summer.

Neal and Devoll, along with their friend Eric Swensied, got into the cab on July 25, 2013. The suit says the driver started yelling "homophobic remarks" and demanded the couple get out of his cab on the side of Interstate 84. (Media reports said he was irked by Neil and Devoll kissing.)

While on I-84, the passengers asked that Egal stop the ride "at a safe location," but Egal started speeding down the freeway, passing several exits and talking on the phone.

The Oregonian reported last year that Egal had called 911. He accused Neal and Devoll of being “real drunk, and so mean,” and refusing to pay.

Eventually, Egal let Neal and Devoll off on the side of the freeway, "forcing plaintiffs to exit the cab and climb over the side of I-84 to safety," the suit says.

Neal and Devoll only returned home after finding a Portland police officer. He brought the couple home safely.

Broadway Cab managers could not immediately be reached for comment this afternoon.

 
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