On May 25, when Brenda Mason sat down at Sizzler to dine, she was the proud owner of a paralegal services company and had plenty of cash in the bank.

By the time she finished her meal, paid the check with her debit card and drove away, she was nearly broke.


Because someone at the Sizzler added a $14,938 tip to her $53.97 bill.

The next day, when Mason discovered that her bank account had been drained, she drove down to Sizzler to speak with a manager. According to the lawsuit Mason has filed against Sizzler in Riverside, the manager apologized and said it was a gross error.

According to Mason, she was concerned because her employees' payroll checks were coming through and the mistaken tip at Sizzler meant she didn't have enough money in the bank to cover the checks.

Sure enough, Mason must have thought the error could be easily corrected. She says a corporate manager assured her that they would coordinate with her bank, Wells Fargo, and fix the situation.

Or not.

Two days later, Mason called her bank, according to the lawsuit, and was told that there was nothing the bank could do because Sizzler had not sent in the credit for the money. As a result, says Mason, she was unable to meet her payroll.

Mason's “employees have not been paid yet, office rents, the phone bills, supply bills etc. are all due and they must be paid immediately,” states Mason.

She claims that she is racking up bills for bounced checks and is seeking $60,000 in damages.

LA Weekly