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  • Writer's picturePeter Lamont, Esq.

Disney Sued for Discrimination By Former Cruise Line Cast Member

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

"Stuffy Old Fart." That is what Anthony McHugh alleges that his younger, female manager called him when he was employed as a labor analyst by Disney Cruise Line. McHugh, who filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, in late November, alleges that the Disney Cruise Line manager violated his civil rights, engaged in age discrimination and that Disney was negligent in its supervision of the manager, created a hostile work environment and retaliated against him.

According to the lawsuit, the female supervisor referred to McHugh as a “stuffy old fart” in front of other staff and refused to provide him with an iPhone or tablet as she did for other staff members who were younger than 40. She also reportedly passed him over for promotions although he claims that he was more qualified and had worked there longer than those who received the promotions. McHugh stated that he was discharged last year after he complained to the human resources department about his manager’s behavior. In its initial response to the lawsuit, Disney Cruise Line stated that the claims are without merit and that they will respond in court.

In general, employment discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age by employers. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and various types of harassment. There are both state and federal laws that prohibit discriminatory actions by employers.

On January 4, 2019, attorneys for defendants, MAGICAL CRUISE COMPANY, LIMITED,d/b/a DISNEY CRUISE LINE, filed a Motion to Dismiss the Negligent Supervision Count of the Plaintiff's Complaint.

In its motion, the Defendants request that the Plaintiff's negligent supervision count be dismissed because McHugh bases his negligent supervision claim on the Defendant's purported breach of an alleged duty to supervise its employees to prevent any violations of the ADA, ADEA, or Title VII. However, claims arising under those statutes do not create common law causes of action.

Disney Cruise Lines further argues that while Florida recognizes claims of negligent supervision under limited circumstances, all such claims require that “the underlying wrong allegedly committed by an employee in a negligent supervision or negligent retention claim [is] based on an injury resulting from a tort which is recognized under common law.” Scelta v. Delicatessen Support Servs, Inc., 57 F. Supp. 2d 1327, 1348 (M.D. Fla. 1999)

The Plaintiff will have an opportunity to oppose the motion and Disney will be permitted to reply. After that, the Court with rule on the motion. Even if the court dismisses the Negligent Supervision count, the other counts alleged will survive and the case will continue to be litigated.

We will continue to track the status of this case and provide you with updates.


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