Fisher (plaintiff) was attending a professional conference that included a buffet luncheon at the Carrousel Motor Hotel (defendant). While he was in line at the buffet Fisher was approached by an employee of the hotel. The employee snatched a plate out of Fisher’s hand and shouted a “Negro could not be served in the club.” The employee never actually touched Fisher’s body and Fisher was never in apprehension of injury despite being embarrassed in front of his colleagues. Fisher sued the hotel for damages. The jury returned a verdict in Fisher’s favor for $400 for his humiliation and for $500 for punitive damages. The trial court set aside the jury verdict in favor of the hotel. Fisher appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals which affirmed the trial court decision. Fisher then appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas.