A New York mother is suing the Irish chocolate cafe Lily O’Brien’s after she was asked to leave for nursing her five-month old daughter last year.
Julia Acevedo-Taylor filed papers with Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, August 16 against Lily O'Brien's, which is located on West 40th Street in the Bryant Park area of the city. Acevedo-Taylor and her friend, Latasha Augustoplos went into Lily O’Brien’s with their hungry and tired toddlers last August and were asked to leave by the on-duty manager -- who has since been removed- - for breastfeeding their children.
Adam Polo, Acevedo-Taylor’s lawyer told the Daily News "They were being as discreet as possible.”
"It wasn't one of those things where they were wide open," said Polo.
In her complaint, Acevedo-Taylor states she was so traumatized after the incident that she has been unable to nurse her daughter in public since.
She is suing for "severe emotional distress and loss of dignity.”
Polo said that Acevedo-Taylor experience at O'Brien's has left her feeling inhibited from nursing her child.
“These feelings of inhibition result in severe anxiety whenever (Acevedo-Taylor) contemplates nursing her child outside the privacy of her home," he said.
Acevedo-Taylor claims that the shop manager asked both women to “stop doing that,” referring to the nursing of their children.
"She didn't stop because she knew she was within her rights to do this," said Polo according to the Daily News, adding, "There was no nipple showing."
When they refused, said the suit, the manager ordered them to leave.
Cathal Queally, a manager and owner of Lily O'Brien’s, said the worker on duty last August never asked the women to leave.
Queally disputed Acevedo-Taylor's account, saying the store's general manager asked one of them if they could cover up only after two other customers complained.
"Nobody was ever asked to leave," he said.
"Certainly no one was ever thrown out of our cafe for breastfeeding.”
A small pink sign that reads “breast-feeding welcome here” and beautiful breast-feeding” now greets visitors to the cafe.
"I'm all for breast-feeding," Queally said.
Lily O’Brien’s, one of Ireland most famous chocolate companies, opened its first New York store in March of 2009.