According to an Associated Press report, restaurant owner Colonial Foods LLC maintains that employees tried to explain to the family that they couldn't be served because the restaurant had run out of cheese and couldn't make any more pizzas.
"It was a cheese issue, not a race issue," said Tim McConville, an attorney for the company.
The lawsuit was filed June 24 in Circuit Court on behalf of Shonda Talley-Green, Brenda Talley, Arthenia Anderson, Louis Martin Sr., Paulus F. Brown Sr., Angelique Brown and seven children.
The lawsuit contends the family members saw only white people in the restaurant on the night of June 25, 2000, and were refused service.
"They were rudely told they couldn't be served, or words to that effect," said Michael Heath, their attorney. "They were denied seating at a public restaurant based on their race."
Colonial Foods operates 110 Pizza Huts. The restaurant the family visited in Chesapeake has since closed.