The entities that operate the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey are the defendants in a proposed class action that claims the arena’s ban on outside food is discriminatory toward those with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes or Glycogen-Storage Disease Type 1.
According to the complaint, members of the proposed class must consume particular types and portions of food to keep their disorders in check, and consequently have to bring this food with them whenever they leave the house for an extended period. The case claims the Prudential Center, despite its status as a place of public accommodation and the fact that similar venues allow customers to bring in outside food, makes it “difficult if not impossible” for those who are medically obligated to eat certain foods to enjoy access to events at the arena because of the no-outside-food policy.
“Defendants thus exclude people who are disabled due to metabolic disorders such as Plaintiff from the full and equal participation in the public events at the public facility,” the complaint reads.
The plaintiff claims that she is considered metabolically disabled due to her diabetes mellitus diagnosis, which restricts her diet to a meal plan that must be followed except in the event of a blood sugar drop. Excluded from the plaintiff’s diet, the lawsuit says, are items like sugar, wheat and non-packaged foods that exceed a particular calorie count. According to the case, the plaintiff intended to attend a Chris Brown concert at the Prudential Center in September 2019 yet has not made a reservation due to the defendants’ prohibition on outside food. The ban poses a health risk to the plaintiff, the case argues, given that her method of treating her diabetes and mitigating the risk of over- and under-eating is to carry specific snacks containing particular amounts of sugar.
The lawsuit, filed against Devils Arena Entertainment LLC and Newark Housing Authority, alleges violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.