Not a miter. Not even close.
Last year we shared the story of Greg Piatek, a Deloitte senior manager who sued The Happiest Hour, a bar in New York’s West Village that he claims kicked him out over his “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat. On Wednesday, a judge threw out Piatek’s lawsuit, but not before Piatek’s lawyer made a laughable argument:
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” his attorney Paul Liggieri told Justice David Cohen in court Wednesday.
“He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The Make American Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief,” Liggieri claimed. Piatek and his pals had, in fact, visited the memorial before the bar.
“Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar,” Liggieri said.
I’m no lawyer, but suggesting that an ugly hat with a ripped off slogan that endorses a buffoon is part of a spiritual belief seems like a legal strategy that Lionel Hutz might come up with. Anyway, it seems like Judge Cohen had fun with this one:
When the judge asked how the bar employees were supposed to be aware of Piatek’s unusual religious beliefs, Liggieri answered, “They were aware he was wearing the hat.”
The judge pressed Liggieri on the idea of his client’s professed creed.
“How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?” the judge asked.
“Your honor, we don’t allege the amount of individuals,” Liggieri said.
“So, it’s a creed of one?” the judge asked.
“Yes, your honor,” Liggieri replied.
Judge Cohen quickly ruled that the bar had not discriminated against Piatek, saying “Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” which basically translates to “That hideous hat has nothing to do with being spiritual. Nice try, dummy.”