Red Robin restaurant staff concealed semen in salad after Portland customer alleged racial discrimination, lawsuit claims

A Red Robin restaurant in Clackamas served a disgusting salad dressing to a man who expressed his ire that employees racially discriminated against his family, a new lawsuit claims.

The Portland resident — identified in court papers by only his initials, T.C. — consumed “a decent amount” of the garden salad before realizing human semen had been concealed inside the leafy greens, his attorney said.

The civil suit seeks $1 million in damages from Red Robin for sexual abuse, negligence and racial discrimination against the man, who is Black, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

“He believes this was done on purpose — that someone targeted him because of the color of his skin,” said Jason Kafoury, the man’s lawyer. “He’s been really traumatized from this.”

A Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirmed the alleged incident was reported to authorities and is under investigation.

Court papers say the man visited the Red Robin, 12560 S.E. 93rd Ave., for a family dinner on March 24, 2021, when servers asked to seat separately members of his eight-person group, which was mostly made up of Black people and included several children.

The man noticed other large groups of white patrons being seated together and “brought these concerns to the attention” of management, the lawsuit says. Restaurant manager Jason Fosberg then referred to the group as a “big gang,” according to the lawsuit, which does not accuse Fosberg of tainting the salad.

Fosberg deferred comment to Red Robin corporate officials, who didn’t respond to emailed questions.

After discovering the befouled salad, T.C. snapped several photos of the substance in a napkin, according to Kafoury.

“He started vomiting,” Kafoury said, adding that hospital staff diagnosed his client with anxiety and nausea later that night. “It was horrific.”

Laboratory testing later confirmed the substance was human genetic material, Kafoury said.

When sheriff’s investigators asked Red Robin for a list of men working in the restaurant that night, management initially said they didn’t have access to those records due to a “computer hack,” but later provided the information, Kafoury said.

The sheriff’s office declined to comment about the specifics of the ongoing investigation.

— Zane Sparling;; 503-319-7083; @pdxzane