Food Engineering

Gluten-free settlement opens door for foodservice allergy lawsuits

Americans with Disabilities Act can be applied to foodservice

January 18, 2013

Gluten-free settlement opens door for foodservice allergy lawsuits

A settlement in a Massachusetts case over gluten-free food options opens the door for lawsuits against institutions subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act if they fail to accommodate dietary restriction requests, according to the Associated Press. Students with celiac disease at Lesley University brought the suit after failing to receive exemptions from the school meal plan despite their inability to eat the food. Eve Hill of the Justice Department’s civil rights division says that universities and colleges, where students are often required to eat on campus, could be especially vulnerable but a restaurant that ignores dietary restrictions and causes illness could be held responsible too.