Early this fall a federal judge transferred a discrimination lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts from California to Florida, after a Disney attorney argued for the transfer. The suit alleges that Disney’s new Disability Access Service discriminates against autistic children, because it no longer allows them to skip to the front of the line. Disney chose to end their previous program, the Guest Assistance Card, because of widespread abuse by able-bodied park visitors. Presumably the park wanted the case transferred, so it wouldn’t be held to the more restrictive Unruh Act, a state law which covers access in California.
A Florida judge also denied a request to add additional plaintiffs to the lawsuit. “Given the unique factual circumstances underlying each family’s experience with Disability Access Service and Disney, the Court finds that the individual claims of each family must be severed, and each family must file a separate complaint,” ordered U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conaway. The original plaintiff and his family will remain on the case, but all others must file separate cases. This is seen as a setback for the plaintiffs, as it significantly weakens their case.
The case is set to be adjudicated next year.