A deliveryman for New York’s Manhattan restaurant Mangia 57 has won a $900,000 jury verdict for the anti-Semitic harassment he endured while working at the establishment.
According to the lawsuit, night shift manager Artur Zbozien often “passed gas” in front of Adam Wiercinski and said it was Zyklon B, the poison German Nazis used to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust, the New York Post reported.
“How can I explain to you — he passed wind, loudly,” Mr. Wiercinski told the Post of Mr. Zbozien. “Everybody laughed, and then he said, ‘See? this is your Zyklon B, you stupid Jew.’
“I had to explain to the members of the jury, what is Zyklon B,” he said. “Because they were very young; they do not know. When I explain how it was used in the gas chambers, they were very serious. Everybody [in the courtroom] was silent.”
Other supervisors would steal tips from Mr. Wiercinski and throw pennies at him.
“They would call him a ‘dirty Jew,’ and when he would say, ‘But I took a bath,’ they would laugh and say, ‘No, you still smell like Jew,’” said Matthew Blit, Mr. Wiercinski’s lawyer.
Mr. Wiercinski endured the abuse for 16 years because “he was 50 years old,” his lawyer said. “He said, ‘Who else is going to hire a 50-year-old delivery man?’ He was afraid.”
The jury reached a verdict in just four hours after hearing much of the testimony in Polish — used by many of the restaurant’s employees, the Post reported.
Mr. Blit said his client is “in shock” by the hefty award.
“He was so happy. It’s a moral victory for him,” Mr. Blit said.