CVS racist slur leads to lawsuit

CVS racist slur on receipt prompts Korean-American woman to sue the chain for $1 million, despite the pharmacy chain's apology for the CVS racist slur.

John Raoux/AP/File
A CVS Pharmacy is seen in Orlando, Fla.,in 2011. A New Jersey woman of Korean descent has sued the drugstore chain for what she claims is a CVS racist slur against Asian-Americans.

A woman of Korean descent who claims a worker at a CVS in southern New Jersey used a phrase mocking Asians to identify her on a store receipt said Thursday she was "horrified" when she made the discovery.

Hyun Lee said she had returned home from picking up her photos at the store and was sifting through them when she noticed the name on the receipt was "Ching Chong Lee" instead of her own.

"I was horrified because it just brought back old memories of growing up as a minority," Ms. Lee said.

She said she was subjected to name-calling because she was Asian while growing up in a diverse Bergen County town.

Lee said she believes someone deliberately changed the name on the receipt because the correct name appeared on an e-mail from CVS saying that her photos were ready for pickup.

Lee, who has two young children and is about a month from giving birth to a third, said she worries about her kids growing up and facing discrimination.

Lee filed a lawsuit against the pharmacy chain April 16 seeking $1 million in mental and emotional damages. The suit was filed in federal court in Camden.

Attorney Susan Lask said her client picked up the photos in February at a CVS in Egg Harbor City. They have demanded the worker be fired, but that would not have stopped the lawsuit.

Lee said she did not return to the store when she saw the phrase and instead e-mailed a complaint.

"I was disgusted. I didn't want to go back to the store anymore," Lee said.

She received an e-mail back from CVS saying the worker would be "counseled and trained." The e-mail, included in the suit, also apologized for the worker's behavior.

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said the company does not comment on pending litigation but has a firm non-discrimination policy.

"CVS/pharmacy is committed to treating all of our customers with dignity and respect," he said.

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