The Portland Tribune is a KOIN 6 News media partner.

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — A woman attempting to fuel up her car in Hillsboro nearly three years ago was awarded $1 million by a jury this week after she alleged a gas station worker discriminated against her.

According to a complaint filed in Multnomah Circuit Court in October 2020, Rose Wakefield visited a gas station owned by Pacwest Energy LLC, doing business as Jacksons Food Stores Inc., on Northeast Town Center Drive at 185th Avenue, in the Tanasbourne area on March 12, 2020.

She claimed she was ignored by the gas station attendant, identified in court documents as Nigel Powers, who pumped gas for cars with white drivers who arrived after her, without pumping her gas. Wakefield is a Black woman.

The complaint states Wakefield entered the store and eventually was served by a clerk from inside the convenience store. The filing states that before leaving the gas station, Wakefield confronted Powers, who responded, “I don’t serve Blacks,” and laughed at her.

Wakefield initially requested she be paid $350,000 for the discrimination.

In September, Wakefield updated her requested amount to $850,000 — $350,000 for her “feelings of racial stigmatization, humiliation and anger,” while the $500,000 was asked to be assessed to deter “similar kinds of conduct in the future.” She continued to ask for a jury trial, which was granted.

The civil lawsuit went to trial in mid-January, and a verdict was delivered Monday, Jan. 23.

Wakefield’s attorneys, Greg and Jason Kafoury of Portland-based Kafoury & McDougal, argued that Wakefield’s complaints to corporate against the gas pump attendant were not recorded after the alleged discrimination, and “the call taker instead wrote a single brief paragraph summarizing what Ms. Wakefield said, while removing the most damning accusation,” according to a press release from the law firm.

The 12-person jury’s verdict awarded $450,000 to Wakefield for discrimination, in addition to $220,000 from Pacwest Energy and $330,000 from Jacksons Food Stores Inc.