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Whole Foods Sues Pastor Over Alleged Cake Hoax

| by Nicholas Roberts

Whole Foods Market reportedly plans to sue a customer who claimed a bakery employee wrote a gay slur on a cake he purchased from the grocery chain's store in Austin, Texas.

Pastor Jordan Brown of Austin's Church of Open Doors became a viral sensation after he tweeted a photo of the cake which read "Love Wins," followed by a slur against homosexuals.

"That's not the cake I ordered, @WholeFoods and I am offended for myself & the entire #LGBT community," the tweet read, according to NBC News.

Brown and his attorney, Austin Kaplan, sued Whole Foods after the incident.

Whole Foods said the bakery employee who allegedly wrote the slur on the cake is a part of the LGBTQ community. After reviewing the case, the company announced on April 19 that it believes Brown's accusations "are fraudulent," adding that they "intend to take legal action against both Mr. Brown and his attorney."

The company is reportedly seeking at least $100,000 in damages, sanctions against Kaplan, and a jury trial in its counter-suit.

Brown made his accusations against the Whole Foods store on April 18. According to Brown, he purchased the cake on April 14, KVUE reports. Brown, an openly-gay pastor, had requested that "Love Wins" be inscribed on the cake. However, when he left the Whole Foods store and got into his car, he allegedly noticed that a gay slur had been written on the cake.

The company refuted this version of events, saying the phrase on the cake would have been clearly visible through the clear, plastic packaging when he bought it, NBC News reports.

The company also noted that surveillance footage showed the label on Brown's cake was on the top of the box, according to KVUE. This counters a video released by Brown's attorney, in which the label is on the side of the cake box.

"A counter suit this quick is very, very rare," Austin Attorney Brad Bonilla of Bonilla Law Firm told KVUE.

"And I think the message with filing a counter suit that quick suggests that Whole Foods is vigorously intending to fight this and that they really believe this suit is without merit and baseless."

Sources: NBC News, KVUE / Photo Credit: Jordan Brown/Twitter via NBC News

Based on what is known about this incident, do you think Whole Foods is right to sue?
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