The 11 members of a book club who were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train after being "too loud" have settled their racial-discrimination lawsuit, their attorney confirmed Monday, the Mercury News reports. The book club, the Sistahs on the Reading Edge, is based in the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay.
The women, 10 of whom are black, had initially sought $11 million in damages, claiming that their removal from the train Aug. 22 was due to racial bias and caused two of them to lose their jobs. The parties went into private mediation and reached a settlement Thursday, Waukeen McCoy, the women's lawyer, revealed, adding that the settlement amount is confidential.
"The parties are both very excited about resolving the case and moving forward," McCoy said.
The women, who range in age from 39 to 85, were removed by train employees after they were reportedly told a few times that they were being too loud during the three-hour train tour through sections of California’s Wine Country. The maître d' told police that the book club members were "unruly and aggressive," court documents note.
However, the book club's leader, Lisa Renee Johnson, has insisted that all the group was guilty of was laughing loudly a few times together, leading the members to feel that they were being singled out because of race.
In addition, two of the women, a nurse and a bank/credit-card-company employee, have claimed that they lost their jobs because of the news reports about the incident and the comments made about them on social media.
"We're relieved that we were able to resolve the matter," Johnson said Monday. "I think it's something we can put behind us."
Read more at the Mercury News.