Michigan Teenager Files Suit Against Amtrak for Allergy Discrimination

Michigan teenager Noah Joseph wanted to visit his grandmother by train, but was denied a ticket when the National Railroad Passenger Corporation ("Amtrak") learned of his food allergy. Amtrak has a policy that prohibits teenagers with food allergies from traveling on their trains and Joseph believes this is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Joseph carries an auto-injector for his allergy and was planning to leave Kalamazoo, Michigan for Dearborn, Michigan during his August 2014 summer break. Amtrak's blanket policy against food allergy travel prevented the boy's mother from making reservations, however, despite his ability to travel safely.

Because the ADA specifically prohibits companies like Amtrak from excluding individuals with disabilities and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits companies who receive federal assistance from discriminating, Joseph and his family believe he has a lawsuit. They have retained Stein & Vargas of Wasington, DC to file suit.

Photo of train by John Nyboer

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