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Court Ruling Favors People With Food Allergies, Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease


In May 2017, an 11-year-old boy named J.D. and his dad went on a class trip to Colonial Williamsburg. J.D. can't eat gluten, so he brought safe food to eat for lunch. Reports say he was told he could not eat the food he brought inside the attraction's restaurant. 

According to a lawsuit filed by J.D.'s family, staff and management told J.D. and his father they had to leave the restaurant immediately if he was going to eat his own food. J.D. then went outside where it was raining to eat separately from his class.

J.D.'s family sued Colonial Williamsburg based on discrimination against someone with a disability. On May 31, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit ruled in favor of J.D. and his family.

This ruling impacts people with food allergies, celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Allowing people to bring in safe food into a public place may be a necessary and reasonable accommodation. Food allergies are a disability under that Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Washington Post has reported more details about the ruling.

Mary Vargas of the law firm Stein & Vargas, LLP, also posted about the ruling on their Facebook page:

Get the support you need to manage your child's food allergies. Join our community to follow our blog for the latest food allergy education, news and research. Our community also gives you the chance to connect with others who manage food allergies and asthma in an encouraging and supportive environment.


Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in. Registered members have access to additional specialized support forums for food allergies. Registration is free!

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