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Discrimination - Glutein-free

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This is a private business that to the best of my knowledge can do this. I can tell you one thing for sure... to pursue this in the legal system will cost you a huge pile of money. Now if you are willing to pay for it on your own then thats your business but I don't think you have any chance of changing their policy. They can serve what they want to serve and how they want to serve it.

We all agree that this is a stupid policy. I agree that there are other ways to handle this and I bet none of them will give you much satisfaction. I know for a fact our local newpaper would not print an article or letter to the editor that mentions a particular business negatively.... they live by advertising and they would never take the chance on just your say so alone of printing such a story. I certainly belive you and so does everyone here but if newspapers started to do this every disgruntled customer of any business would expect a platform in the local news. That's not going to happen, the newspaper is a business and thats how they are run.

I think your best bet is to get in touch with the various celiac groups in RI and the local area and report your experience. I do happen to know a person who owns a tiny restaurant and I've been told by him that every single day numerous times a day they have requests to "change" things, no peanuts, no flour, no dairy, no cheese, vegan only, no animal products. He said he often feels like he is reinventing his menu for every single diner and it takes time to do that not to mention the fear that he says OK I'll do that for you and someone in the kitchen messes it up, makes it the "regular" way... he's worried about his liability. I'm not saying he's right and I know your situation is different (such a simple switch) but its not easy from any perspective. He claims and I believe him, that he would like to but can't cater to every single food allergy or menu change.

Which is why, when we find a restaurant that will work with us we need to do the exact same thing as the "uncooperative" places... advertise them... right here, with local groups, write a letter to the management, tip well.

I'm sorry this happened to you, I'd be furious as well with such a simple change.


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That's a good point that pixiegirl had about the newspapers. She's probably right. Maybe instead you could write not about that particular restaurant, but do an awareness type thing just to get celiac more out there and describe what has happened and how it's hard enough for us to eat out anyway.

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Guest gliX

I'm sorry to hear about your problem at the restaurant.

I didn't have time to read over other people's responses. I am currently an Intern in the halls of congress and know the process with lawsuits. Believe me, a law suit would take years and probably isn't worth it. If it was me, I just wouldn't return to the restaurant again.

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Guest imsohungry

I also agree with others who stated that they wouldn't pursue a lawsuit; there are just so many lawsuits these days that could be handled or resolved in different ways. Court seems like a lengthy, costly, and stressful procedure to go through simply because you couldn't have rice or potatos. <_<

Let me give you an example:

First of all, I have epilepsy. In college, I wanted to take a particular English class, and one of my accommodations was supposed to be FORMAT CHANGE: Alternate Test Days if needed. The professor I wanted to have had a policy of: NO FORMAT CHANGE for anyone. He offered to allow me to take an alternate class that did allow the format change; although this wasn't the time and exact class I wanted, I took it because it was a comparable substitution.

...in other words, he didn't give me "rice or potatos" but offered me a comparable choice that would fill my need. Your restaurant could make the same argument...just give 'em heck for their bad PR if you want.

Just my 2 cents. -Julie B)

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I have had 2 restaurants flat out refuse to serve me, and another yell at me about me suing them if I got sick. I just deal with it, and put a nice big post on the board warning other Celiacs. Then, I get on with my life. For every nasty restaurant, there are at least 50 that will bend over backwards for you. I spend 6 weeks a year traveling and eating 3 meals a day out. You learn to take the good with the bad and never to return to the bad and always overtip the good. ;)


Northern Virginia

gluten-free since March 27, 2004

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True that! And I have to say, if by some chance, this restaurant was "forced" to offer substitutions and cater to those with allergies/celiac--I would be afraid there would be some bitterness there, and and something else might end up in my potato--know what I'm saying ??



Indianapolis, IN

gluten-free since Feb 2005


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I am a lawyer, I don't think you have a complaint that can result in the relief you are seeking.

Having said that, some bad publicity for the restaurant can always effect change.

What is the name of the restaurant and the address? You have a few thousand people on this website that could drop them a letter/e-mail telling them how much  we disapprove of their actions.



YES... give US the info - I'll write! :-)


"Get busy living

or get busy dying."

From: The Shawshank Redemption


gluten-free since Jan 1 '05

Positive response to diet within days, felt 'alive again' within 2 weeks

Feb 22 '05:

Diagnosed "Celiac Sprue, and IBS" by a GI doc, Dr. David Lin of Danville, CA

via blood testing 53 days after I began the gluten-free diet on my own:

Test results at 53 days POST going gluten-free were:

Gliadin AB IgA = 29.9

Since 30+ = positive for Celiac Disease when ingesting gluten, my doc

diagnosed me with Celiac Sprue then and there.

Gliadin AB IgG was 5.6 at that point


Endoscopy with biopsies, AND colonoscopy with biopsies were done,

only to rule out other possible GI problems (especially intestinal

lymphoma) - My doctor told me the results indicated "no current damage

found" - and that as long as I stay gluten-free, I don't need another

biopsy for ten years.

Follow-up blood testing was done about one year later, by the same

Gastro doc, in Nov '05:

Gliadin AB IgA =26, Gliadin AB IgG <1

Blood testing done again by him, 5 months later (March '06)

He then told me my tests results were back to normal, and "Keep up the

good work! You can't argue with success!" :-)

I now see him one time per year for routine testing to make sure I am

staying gluten-free.



I was also diagnosed as positive for antibodies and autoimmune

response to gliadin by Enterolab, via stool specimen taken 56 days


and I have one of the two genes that 'cause' Celiac Disease:

"HLA-DQ8," via Enterolabs cheek cell test kit


I began a COMPLETE 'Gluten-free Casein-free' diet in Nov '05, due to:

"positive" for casein antibodies from Enterolab (in Feb '05)


"positive" for casein IgG (Elisa) via York Labs' finger-prick blood

test, Sept '05

and continued 'stomach pains,' although nothing compared to before

going gluten-free....

UPDATE: ALL remaining symptoms disappeared within weeks of going gluten-free&CF!


My PAST illnesses I believe are attributable to Untreated Celiac Disease:

Recurrent ear and throat infections in childhood

Frequent childhood stomach aches, underweight, picky eater

Tooth enamel problems/excessive cavities in childhood

Diagnosed in 20's with non-allergic rhinitis

Two spontaneous abortions (childless)

IBS diagnosis at age 28 (all better post going gluten-free and casein-free)

["Horrible" digestive problems from ages 32-47 - excess gas,

diarrhea gone post gluten-free!]

Reflux diagnosis at age 35 ('reflux' gone post gluten-free)

ADHD diagnosis at age 38 and at age 48 (not as bad with Gluten-free Casein-free diet)

Broke elbow in 2 places, age 39

Osteopenia diagnosed at age 44 (bone scan revealed thinning of spine -

taking Calcium and Vit D now)

Fibromyalgia diagnosis at age 40 (fatigue and pain all gone post gluten-free!)

Minor depression with anxiety diagnosed at age 42 (taking Paxil)

Skin cancer - squamous at age 43 and pre-melanoma at age 45

Adult acne (this, too, went away, but only after going dairy-free)

Topical dermatitis (so bad I needed steroid shots) diagnosed at age 46

(That's gone now, too!)

Excessive bruising of skin began at age 45:

I was told by derm doc AND family physician "That's just thin, aging

skin, nothing you can do about that" (GUESS WHAT?! ...NO unusual

bruising POST going gluten-free! I can now wear skirts and shorts


SO many years of being sick...

Hopefully, others will benefit from Science, and the increasing media

attention being given to Celiac Disease and gluten-based illnesses,

and will not have to go through what I, and others on here, have had

to go through.

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Thank you to everyone for your input. I agree with virtually everything that's been written. I do think that the best way to change things is for people to make noise. That is why my first move was to write to the restaurant and detail what had happened and ask that they be more compassionate. It was only after receiving no response that I moved to step two.

I did not initiate, nor did I have any inclination to sue Cap'n Jack's over their treatment of me. I simply filed a letter of complaint with the Commission for Human Rights in Providence. I fully expected that if they did anything, it would be to contact the restaurant to inform them that a complaint had been made against them. It was the idea of the Commission to file suit against Cap'n Jack's. Perhaps they thought this would be a way to change the status quo to make things more accessible for those of us with dietary restrictions.

As long as the Commission sees fit to bring this suit, I certainly feel it is incumbent upon me to support their efforts - after all they are trying to make life a bit easier for us.

I, too, resent when the government tells us what we should and should not do. As adults we should all be willing to wear seatbelts, not litter, put on our headlights when it's raining, be civil to one another, etc., etc. Unfortunately too many so called adults have little common sense and/or common courtesy, which is why we have so many "DUH" laws. This seems to fall into that catagory. If you can make someone else's life a little easier by making a small concession, why not do it?? Cap'n Jack's has the attitude, "I don't HAVE to make your life any easier, so I not gonna, and you can't make me!" It seems like a very short-sighted way for a service oriented business to operate, but that's their choice.

Because of my current involvement, I don't think I should be encouraging you folks to write of your displeasure to Cap'n Jack's of Wakefield, RI, but I certainly wouldn't discourage it.

Thank you all!!


Diagnosed September 2003 after ten years of IBS diagnosis!

Also hypo-thyroid since June 1998.

Missing those Dunkin' Donuts' Bavarian Cremes!!

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