Ambassador Theatre Group Wins Lawsuit Regarding Food in Theaters
Last year, Evelyn Castillo sued the Broadway landlord in federal court over its policy, which does not allow guests to bring outside food into its theaters. She claimed that the practice discriminates against individuals with diabetes, and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This act says that all places of public accommodation must allow all people with disabilities to have "full and equal enjoyment" of the shows. The venues must make reasonable changes to their policies, practices, and procedures to make the theaters accessible to all.
Castillo said that she was planning to purchase a ticket to Head Over Heels, when she noticed the rule against bringing outside food into the theatre. She said that she must bring her own packaged or pre-measured food to an event, or else she faces the risk of both overeating and undereating, which puts her at further risk of either using too much insulin or not enough.
The theater group's lawyers stated that its website "provides several methods for potential customers to contact [the firm], and ... an accessibility statement and an additional number to call for assistance."
The lawyers say that "Providing such information demonstrates [the Ambassador Theatre Group]'s intent to comply with the ADA."
In addition, Castillo never asked the theatre for an accommodation upon entry. She did not claim that a guard checking bags at the Hudson Theatre "otherwise knew of her disability, and refused to accommodate her."
The judge agreed, and dismissed the lawsuit in September.
Castillo does not plan to appeal the decision.
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