Third Ward residents drop lawsuit against popular Turkey Leg Hut

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HOUSTON – A handful of residential neighbors who filed a lawsuit against the Turkey Leg Hut (TLH) two weeks ago claiming smoke from the restaurant to be a public health hazard dropped their lawsuit Monday and requested an unconditional dismissal of the suit.

Attorney for the neighbors, Cris Feldman, of Feldman & Feldman, PC, released a statement that read, in part, “We agreed to temporarily suspend, or ‘non-suit without prejudice,’ the litigation to give the Turkey Leg Hut owners one last chance to get in compliance with the law and finally become good neighbors. Throughout 2019, neighbors have endured a noxious stream of smoke from the restaurant.”

The move comes a little over a week after attorneys for the Turkey Leg Hut claimed in court that the motives for filing the lawsuit were not based on urgent public health concerns, but rather the desire to eliminate a popular and busy restaurant from the plaintiffs’ neighborhood.

“From the moment we were engaged, we suspected this was not about smoke but rather about forcing the Turkey Leg Hut out of its location,” said Jane Robinson, an attorney with the Turkey Leg Hut’s legal team from AZA Law Firm.  “We were not about to let that happen.  We are pleased that these neighbors have elected to drop the suit quickly and proud to have had the opportunity to fight for Turkey Leg Hut.”

The lawsuit, initially filed on Nov. 20 by the attorney for six neighbors in the Third Ward, sought an emergency temporary restraining order to prevent the restaurant from using smokers to prepare their turkey legs during TLH’s biggest week of the year; the Thanksgiving holiday and a charitable giveaway of 3,000 turkey legs to the community.  The lawsuit also sought a permanent injunction on the restaurant’s operations.

“We’re pleased the plaintiffs voluntarily requested an unconditional dismissal of this unfounded lawsuit today,” said John Zavitsanos, Lead Counsel for the Turkey Leg Hut.  “For the past two weeks, the plaintiffs and their attorney have publicly villainized the Turkey Leg Hut and its founders, falsely claiming the restaurant to be an illegal operation, a health hazard and a public nuisance, run by people who don’t care about the health and wellbeing of the community, and who are somehow above the laws in the City of Houston.  Unfortunately, this lawsuit has damaged the good name of our clients, their reputation, and their business operations.”

Nakia Price, co-Founder of the Turkey Leg Hut, said she is glad the ordeal is, seemingly, behind them.

“This has been an extremely challenging ordeal for our family, but we are so grateful for all the love and support we’ve received from the community,” said Nakia Price, Co-Founder of the Turkey Leg Hut.  “My husband, Lynn, and I want to thank our amazing legal team, our staff, customers and the community for seeing us through the challenges of these past few weeks.  We love our home here in the Third Ward and will continue to do our best to be good neighbors, bring people together, and help the community here thrive.”