NEW ORLEANS – A French Quarter restaurant claims that a health inspector found problems that were nonexistent in order to extort food.

French Market Restaurant and Bar Inc. filed a suit against Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and Lenette Cunningham in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Oct. 26.

According to the claim, the plaintiff was inspected by the Cunningham in a frequent basis beginning in 2013. The suit states that the defendant found problems with the plaintiff's property that were unsupported and the frequent inspections were part of her effort to extort food from the plaintiff. The suit states that Cunningham was later terminated by the department in September.

The plaintiff alleges the inspections caused damages to its reputation.

The defendants are accused of publishing fraudulent inspection reports and failure to properly and timely take action against the misconduct.

The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount in damages. The plaintiff is represented by W. Patrick Klotz of Klotz & Early in New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division L Judge Kern A. Reese.

The Orleans Parish Civil District Court Case number 16-10617

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