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P.F. Chang's Dodges Lawsuit Over Gluten-Free Surcharge
A plate at P.F. Chang's. Photo: CC--Parker Knight
Celiac.com 5/23/2016 - Plenty of people have followed the news of the woman who sued Chinese food chain P.F. Chang's, claiming that they discriminated against her by charging more for gluten-free dishes than for other non-gluten-free options.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte, of the Northern District of California, had dismissed the original complaint in August, but reinstated the suit once plaintiff Anna Marie Phillips amended her complaint. On Nov. 23, 2015, Whyte ruled that Phillips had sufficiently pleaded her claims in that amended complaint.
Many in the restaurant industry were watching the suit carefully since it was first filed in December 2014, as the claim of discrimination, based on higher charges for gluten-free items at P.F. Chang's, could have serious repercussions for the industry as a whole.
Phillips has now asked the judge to dismiss her lawsuit.
At least for now, the question to whether surcharges or higher charges for gluten-free food options constitute some form of discrimination against those with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance, remains un-litigated.
The position of the Department of Justice is that celiac disease is not a disability in every case, and that there are plenty of cases in which it is not a disability.
Read more at Legal News Line.
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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