The Former Downstein Manager’s $5 Million Lawsuit Against NYU and Aramark, Explained


Alex Domb, Deputy News Editor

Hoben v. Aramark and New York University alleges a wrongful termination of Tim Hoben, the former general manager of operations at Aramark NYU and an Aramark employee of eight years. Hoben is represented by the New York law firm Daniel Szalkiewicz and Associates.

Hoben is charging Aramark with libel and slander and trespassing of personal property and chattel. He is charging NYU with aiding and abetting defamation.

According to Hoben’s allegations, he was terminated for leading an offensive Black History Month meal when he had no part in preparing the menu. Hoben was earning an annual salary of $103,000 for his position before his termination, which also led him to lose life insurance and health insurance provided through Aramark.

“Hoben was … terminated without a proper investigation and sacrificed to both the media and NYU, even though the evidence clearly showed that Aramark’s own marketing team organized the Black History Month Promotion, approving, purchasing, and promoting the menu to NYU’s student body,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit claims that Aramark fired Hoben to make a public statement, avoid a public relations crisis and to avoid risking its multi-million dollar contract with NYU. Additionally, Aramark told Hoben and NYU administrators that he was terminated due to his own decisions and negligence. Hoben claims his reputation has been tarnished, necessitating $5 million to account for damage.

“In the years ahead, Plaintiff will continue to suffer losses such as internet-related expenses and lost professional opportunities because of Defendants’ baseless allegations of racism that are now inextricably tied to his name,” the lawsuit reads.

Multiple letters documenting Hoben’s termination are used at evidence that NYU and Aramark claimed that Hoben was responsible for the menu. The lawsuit recounts the events of the days immediately preceding and following the meal’s being served in detail as a means of illustrating that Hoben was not responsible for the meal’s being served. Aramark released public statements following the incident condemning Hoben for not following protocol and publicly announcing his suspension.

“The statements were made with malicious intent to injure [Hoben’s] professional reputation,” the lawsuit reads. “More so, the Defendants acted with the knowledge of the falsity of these claims and the implications therefrom, with the reckless disregard for the truth.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Aramark mishandled the removal of Hoben’s possessions from his office upon his firing. According to plaintiffs, the contents within his boxes, including several keepsakes and family possessions, had been destroyed when they arrived at his home. This cost Hoben over $1000 and prompted plaintiffs to file the third cause of action due to damage of personal property.

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