Trump Settles Second Suit Against Chef Who Ditched D.C. Hotel

  • Suit one of two tied to remarks Trump made during campaign
  • Geoffrey Zakarian ended restaurant plans after Mexican remarks

President Donald Trump’s company settled its lawsuit against chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who ditched plans for a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel in Washington because of the president’s campaign comments about Mexicans.

The lawsuit was one of two Trump filed in 2015 against restaurateurs who abandoned plans to establish eateries in the 263-room hotel, located in the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the White House. The other suit was filed against celebrity chef Jose Andres, who settled with Trump last week.

Zakarian and Andres canceled their planned restaurants after Trump kicked off his presidential campaign by calling some Mexican immigrants “rapists.” The deportation of undocumented immigrants and construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall were centerpieces of Trump’s presidential campaign.

In January, New York-based Trump Organization and Zakarian had said settlement talks were at an “impasse.” Trump had been seeking about $14 million in damages in the case. Details of the accord weren’t released Monday.

"After an intense, two-year legal battle, we are pleased we were able to amicably resolve our differences and wish Geoffrey continued success," Donald Trump Jr., who is managing the business with his brother while his father is president, said in a statement.

Trump’s suit against Andres for breach of contract in July 2015 sought $10 million in damages, while Andres countersued for at least $8 million, money he said was spent on developing his restaurant location at the hotel before being compelled to withdraw.

The deal follows other Trump settlements, including a $25 million agreement in November over his defunct Trump University. In December, lawyers for the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas told a U.S. appeals court that it resolved issues that led to a National Labor Relations board determination it had violated federal law by refusing to bargain with a union.

The Zakarian case is Trump Old Post Office LLC v. C-Z National LLC, 2015 CA 5890 B, District of Columbia Superior Court (Washington). The Andres case is Trump Old Post Office v. Topo Atrio LLC, 2015 CA 6624 B, District of Columbia Superior Court (Washington).

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