Lawyers for the (now) notorious Napa Valley Wine Train are attempting to dismiss elements of the lawsuit brought against them by 11 one-time passengers. The lawyers assert that the $11 million dollar racial-discrimination lawsuit falsely claims that the passengers were slandered by the company when they were called "unruly and aggressive" by train management, as this doesn't qualify as slander because it was actually an opinion — not a factual assertion.

The legal team claims that the book club, which includes an 83-year-old grandmother, was being “unruly and aggressive" in the opinion of train manager Anna Marquinn, and that this opinion is backed by fact, reports the Chronicle.

"The alleged statement was an opinion reasonably drawn from the context and circumstances,” claims the train owners' legal team. Immediately following the incident, someone from the train company, possibly Marquinn, posted a message to Facebook alleging "verbal and physical abuse" by the group towards other guests and staff. That message was quickly deleted.

As readers will likely remember, the 11 members of the book group (ten of whom are black) were ejected from the tourist train and handed directly to police after claims by train management that they were disrupting the experience of other passengers. The women claimed they were only having a good time like everyone else.

At least one passenger called BS on this, posting a review to Yelp backing up the passengers' claims of racial discrimination.

"I watched in disbelief as staff harassed a group of people who were merely drinking wine and laughing," the review reads in part.

Lisa Johnson, a 47-year-old resident of Antioch, was one of the women removed from the train. At the time, she spoke of the experience as both confusing and humiliating.

"The train is set up to be with your friends, to drink wine and have a good time,” said Johnson. “We were thinking, ‘Who are we offending?’ To get escorted into the hands of waiting police officers. That’s the humiliating part," Johnson continued.

According to Johnson, members of the eleven-member book club were simply laughing and enjoying themselves, and were singled out because of their race.

After a social-media firestorm erupted (including the widespread use of the hashtag "#laughingwhileblack"), the Wine Train apologized to the book club publicly.

The Wine Train's legal team is not attempting to dismiss the entire lawsuit, but rather to establish that management had a non-racial reason for removing the women.

All previous coverage of the Napa Valley Wine Train.