I can't help but speculate as to what this new information could be. It first would have to be something Kate and Ming didn't know at either the time they tried to book the Wildflower as the site for their reception or at the time they were turned away. This points my mind personally in one direction: that other people whom the O'Reilly's have similarly discriminated against have come forward with their stories, and we'll see a pattern emerge as the case unfolds.
Vermont ACLU director Allen Gilbert, in fact, told the Caledonian, "We're pleased the judge agreed the case should move forward and that the role of the state's Human Rights Commission will be broadened. We believe that the evidence will show the Wildflower Inn to have a longstanding policy and practice of discrimination."
Emphasis mine....Well, there ya go.
The O'Reilly's had sought a settlement in the case under a common law doctrine called "respondeat superior", (also known as the "master-servant rule!" Heh!) that basically states an employer is responsible for the actions of its employees taken in the course of their employment, whether they were authorized or not. They sought to limit their liability exclusively thereto.
Sorry, that won't fly.
The employee didn't CREATE the policy, she APOLOGIZED for it in the email to Kate and Ming which is a key piece of evidence in the case. And the beauty of it is, the inn's falling back on respondeat superior basically amounts to an admission on their part that the policy does indeed violate Vermont's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act.
Sounds to me like the O'Reilly's basically shot their case in the head and violated another principle, not of common law but of common SENSE:
"When you're in a hole, stop digging."
That move was tossed by the judge on the basis that a settlement on that basis leaves unresolved the question of whether the Inn's policies violate the Act, which is a key element of the relief sought by Kate and Ming.
With the Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act in mind, the judge granted yet another motion in the case, this one from the Vermont Human Rights Commission which sought to renew its earlier motion to intervene that was previously granted in the case.
Look for the Commission to ramp up its involvement in the case.
Neither the O'Reilly's nor their attorneys could be reached for comment.
They were probably out shopping for Excedrin.