Wildflower Inn: It gets worse.

by: kestrel9000

Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 10:47:32 AM EDT

(crossposted from Green Mountain Daily)

Literally. For them, that is...

 New developments in the discrimination case against the owners of the Lyndonville bed and breakfast that's facing legal action for refusing to host the wedding reception of two women from New York.

 The Caledonian Record (paywalled) today is reporting that the judge in the matter has denied a request to dismiss the case brought by the attorney for the inn's owners. From my reading of the piece, it looks to me like Jim and Mary O'Reilly are trying to claim that the employee who sent the email apologizing to Katherine Baker and  Ming Lien-Linsley for the Wildflower's discriminatory policies was acting on her own hook.

 However, that doesn't change the fact that the policy of discrimination existed in the first place.

 The judge in the matter has also granted a motion that's cleared the way for the couple to seek punitive damages beyond the symbolic dollar they originally sought, based on their allegation that "new information has come to light...suggesting that the defendant's actions were more egregious than originally thought."

 This oughta be good.

 More on the flip.  

kestrel9000 :: Wildflower Inn: It gets worse.
  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.  

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I haven't read any of the pleadings, but what I draw (2.00 / 4)
from what you have written is that, by attempting to settle the case on the theory of respondeat superior, the Inn's owners were attempting to avoid the question of whether they had in fact created a policy of refusing to extend hospitality to gay couples.

Under the theory, they would be liable whether they had created such a policy, or whether they had not created such a policy, but the employee, acting within the scope of her employment, implemented what she thought was her employers' policy.

If that was the goal, it was a pretty desperate attempt at damage control.

Given the publicity that the case has apparently received, separate and apart from the request to intervene that the Vermont Human Rights Commission has made, the tactic is doomed to fail.

I expect that scores of militant sodomite couples seeking to advance the Gay Agenda and to destroy the Sanctity of Marriage, the monogamous, heterosexual Nuclear Family, and the very core characteristics of our Judeo-Christian society, will be lining up outside the Inn's front door seeking to book the joint, thereby creating unambiguous evidence of a pattern of behavior, if such evidence does not already exist.

There is no limit to which these militant sodomites will not go in pushing their Agenda.

Hey Kestrel (2.00 / 2)
Only just caught up on the news of your ridiculous banning from DKos

I'm sorry, bro. The RKBA stuff got pretty heavy in the last month or so because of Trayvon. Everyone knows that this is one issue where I depart from the mainstream opinion on the Moose. But I always respected your desire to take the issue out of NRA hands

I hope, as things hot up for the election, you keep bringing your passion and commitment to the Moose

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

Banned from DKOS? (2.00 / 3)
Oh Noes!


Not to knock the whole Great Orange Satan, but from what I've seen being banned from there is often a sign of sanity.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Also sanity: (2.00 / 3)
Self-deportation from DKos.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
I see myself as only ever carried a tourist visa. (2.00 / 2)
Nice place, usually enjoy trips there. But on the whole I'd rather be here at home.


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I'll be around. (2.00 / 1)
What Markos wants from me, I can't give him. It's his blog, he gets to make the rules, but I can't plead guilty to something that I don't feel that I did. I could have been reinstated, I think, but I can't....I just can't. I'm going to explain the historical trigger in my life at some point. For now, I'll just say this: I lost something much more important than the ability to post on a blog back in 1992 because I refused to "admit" to having done something I did not do.  

[ Parent ]

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