The so-called loud Black women of the Sistahs on the Reading Edge who were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train in August, are looking to get the last laugh.
They recently filed a discrimination lawsuit demanding $11 million in damages–$1 million for each of the plaintiffs: 10 African-Americans and one white woman.
Reports the Associated Press:
The 11 women sued Napa Valley Wine Train Inc., claiming they were singled out because of race and seeking $11 million in damages. The company said in a statement that it takes allegations of discrimination very seriously and has hired a former FBI agent to investigate.
The women said many of them were part of a book club that meets regularly and had gathered on the train to discuss a romance novel. Before the train left the station in Napa, a train employee asked them to quiet down because they were offending other passengers, they said.
The same employee admonished them a second time before telling them that police officers would be waiting for them when the train reached St. Helena, the suit says. They were escorted through several cars as other passengers stared and then off the train and into a dirt lot where police were waiting, according to the suit.
“That was the most humiliating experience that I have ever had in my entire life,” Lisa Johnson, 47, said with tears in her eyes, appearing with some of the other women at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “This is 2015, and this just cannot happen again.”
The wine train issued an apology after the women were ejected, promising additional training for employees on cultural diversity and sensitivity and free passes for a future trip.
“I took this case because it’s an egregious case,” said the women’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy. “This lawsuit highlights that blacks are still being treated differently in America.”
Anthony Giaccio, the Napa Valley Wine Train CEO called the women’s removal “a 100 percent customer service fail on our part” just in case of you closeted racists and new types are accusing the women of race-baiting.
Photo: CBS SF Bay Area Video