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Judge Delivers Knock-out in Man's Fight for Gluten-free Gravy
Celiac.com 03/18/2016 - An Australian man's fight to force his local pub to provide gluten-free gravy to go with his gluten-free New Year meal made it all the way to that country's Federal Circuit Court, before a judge brought the man's quest to an ignoble end by pronouncing the suit "frivolous," and dismissing it entirely.
The man in the center of the battle is Bruce Skeen, an elderly gentleman with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Mr. Skeen's travails began when he paid $1 to attend Christmas function at Blacktown Workers Club in December 2013.
For the Christmas function, Skeen pre-ordered a gluten-free meal and gluten-free dessert, despite never having done so in the past. When his gluten-free roast dinner arrived without gluten-free gravy, Mr. Skeen became "angry and disruptive."
One week later, Mr Skeen returned to the club, where he became "physically and verbally aggressive" towards staff as he placed another order for a gluten-free meal and demanded gluten-free gravy be served at the upcoming New Year's Eve function. When he did not receive his gluten-free gravy he had demanded, he later sued the club for discrimination.
Skeen's suit was dismissed as frivolous by the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney last month. Suing establishments for discrimination over failure to provide gluten-free foods seems to be on the rise lately, and not just in America.
What do you think? Is Mr. Skeen helping the cause of celiacs, or is he perhaps doing more harm than good?
Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams