A diabetic woman has been awarded a £2,000 settlement after her bottle of Lucozade was confiscated at a concert.
Kayla Hanna, then 18, was heading into a Red Hot Chili Peppers gig at Tennent’s Vital, an annual music festival in her native Belfast, when security staff ordered her to hand over the drink.
Diabetics frequently carry Lucozade or similar glucose-rich drinks to drink in the event of an unexpected fall in blood sugar.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
“When the security guard told me I couldn’t bring the bottle in, I told her of my condition and showed her the tattoos on my wrist which indicate I have diabetes,” music student Hanna, who has type 1 diabetes, told the Belfast Telegraph.
Even after she produced her insulin pack and blood sugar level testing kit, security staff said they were bound by a “strict policy” barring concertgoers from bringing in drinks from outside.
Although she was finally allowed in after handing over the bottle, Hanna said she felt “very anxious and upset” during the show, in 2016.
“I stood away from the area near the stage where my friends were because I was afraid something would happen to me and I would not have the Lucozade,” she told news site Belfast Live.
With the support of the Equality Commission, Hanna brought a case against security services provider Eventsec, alleging that it had breached the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which outlines businesses’ obligations to make “reasonable adjustments” to cater for those with medical conditions.
Delivering his verdict at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Philip Gilpin ruled that Eventsec had failed in their duty to make a “reasonable adjustment” to accommodate Hanna’s condition as required under the Disability Discrimination Act, and awarded her £2,000.
The company said that it was “disappointed” by the ruling, stressing that Hanna’s experience was an “isolated incident”.
“Our normal practice when implemented is in compliance with our duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Disability Discrimination Act,” a spokesperson said.
“The company would remind all patrons who need to manage a medical condition via food and drink to contact the concert promoter in advance of attending the concert.”
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.