On August 22, 11 women (10 of whom are black) were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train for being “too loud,” igniting the hashtag #LaughingWhileBlack and spurring the company CEO to apologize to the group and offer them another ride on the train.
Yesterday, the members of the Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club—which was on the train celebrating a member’s 63rd birthday—filed an $11 million lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, defamation and breach of contract. The suit also names Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Brooks Street Property Management, and three individuals as defendants. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.
“The goal of this lawsuit is to ensure that this sort of racial discrimination does not happen to anyone else,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Waukeen Q. McCoy, said in a press release. “These are highly educated, successful, and well-respected women in their community, and the treatment they received was disgraceful and illegal.”
In addition to the financial damages, the women are requesting that the train management and staff undergo racial sensitivity training and that procedures be put in place to prevent similar incidents from playing out with other people of color.
Watch The Guardian’s video about the women below.