April 20, 2016

“Sistahs on the Reading Edge” settle lawsuit against Wine Train


Photo: Jeff Chiu

Photo: Jeff Chiu

On Monday, members of the book club “Sistahs on the Reading Edge” settled with the Wine Train after they were kicked off a train for “being loud and boisterous” on a tour of California’s wine country last summer.

In his report for SF Gate, Bob Egelko says 10 of the 11 women are black, and that their lawsuit, filed in October, claimed that they were singled out because of their race. They had been “laughing and having a good time . . . they weren’t behaving any differently than other passengers.”

The Wine Train (which was founded by the late Rice-a-Roni executive Vincent DeDomenico!) denies discrimination and has settled for “a confidential sum.” The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Waukeen McCoy, “described the agreement as amicable and said he hopes the case serves as ‘a learning experience for all businesses’ in the need for ‘diversity and sensitivity training.’”

In a statement this week, one of the members said, “We’re just looking forward to moving on and getting back to reading books.”



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.