Kozmo to face discrimination claims in D.C.

Days after a federal court dismisses a discrimination lawsuit against the online convenience store, the plaintiffs prepare to file a similar suit at the state court level.

Greg Sandoval
Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Days after a federal court dismissed a discrimination lawsuit against Kozmo.com, the plaintiffs are preparing to file a similar suit at the state court level.

Andrew Marks, the lawyer for two Washington, D.C., residents and a Washington, D.C.-based civil rights group, today said he will file a new lawsuit this week in the District of Columbia. The suit alleges that Kozmo refused to deliver goods to predominantly black communities. The suit also alleges that the online convenience store violated the D.C. Human Rights Act, a local anti-discrimination measure.

Kozmo, based in New York, operates in 11 cities and says it can deliver entertainment and sundry goods to customers in an hour.

On Friday, a federal district judge dismissed the case from federal court, denying a request for a stay by the plaintiffs for additional time but granting the plaintiffs' request to dismiss the case from federal court, enabling them to proceed in state court.

"We believe that Kozmo has engaged in discriminating practices by denying service to large areas that are predominantly black communities," Marks said.

Kozmo denies the accusations, saying that the company, which was founded by two Asian Americans, stands for diversity.

"We do not believe that there is any more merit under state law than under federal law," said Michael Gordon, spokesman for Kozmo. "They chose federal court, and they dropped their case when they couldn't prove it in the time the judge allotted."