A group of predominantly black women kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train last August, settled an $11 million racial discrimination case against the company for an undisclosed amount last week.
Waukeen McCoy, the attorney representing the women, told the San Jose Mercury News, the woman reached an “amicable” settlement last Thursday. The settlement amount will remain confidential, according to McCoy.
The group of 11 women boarded the Napa Valley Wine Train on Aug. 22 to celebrate a birthday and discuss a book. The group said instead their trip was cut short, and the women were escorted through six train cars and greeted by police in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena.
“We were treated like we didn’t belong there, and we paid our money just like everyone else,” Lisa Renee Johnson told KTVU in August. “If they cannot accommodate groups, they should not take our money as a group.”
Women kicked off Napa Valley Wine Train file $11M discrimination suit
The women, many of whom are members of the Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club, said they suffered personal and professional consequences, and two of the women lost their jobs following the incident.
The group alleges that they were repeatedly told to “quiet down,” although staff said nothing to white passengers who were being just as loud, if not louder.
Shortly after the incident, the company posted on Facebook that the women were removed “following verbal and physical abuse towards other guests and staff.” The post was deleted, but the women said the damage was done.
Following the incident, the company apologized to Johnson and the group, promised to implement enhanced sensitivity training, Sam Singer, a spokesman for the company, said in an August interview.