Bar owners across state sue Governor over COVID regulations

Say they are unfairly singled out

Thomas Perumean
July 30, 2020 - 1:13 pm

Several bar owners in Louisiana have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Governor Edwards over his emergency order that bans onsite consumption at bars. Attorney Jimmy Faircloth is representing the plaintiffs and he says bar owners have been singled out.

“And they’ve been singled out without really any scientific basis or really any evidentiary basis as to why,” said Faircloth.

A spokesperson for Edwards says the governor has taken both legal and necessary action to protect the health of Louisiana residents by prohibiting on-premise consumption at bars. The state health department has traced 464 confirmed coronavirus infections to 41 bars.

Faircloth points out that’s a small fraction of the total known cases in Louisiana.

“When you look at it statistically, there is just no way you can defend doing this, so there has got to be something more, and there’s not,” said Faircloth.

Faircloth is asking a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the governor’s bar order closure. Motions have been filed in both the Western and Eastern districts of Louisiana’s federal court system.

He says several of these bar owners met with the governor to find out why casinos are allowed to remain open, but a small bar owner can’t have ten patrons inside their establishment.

“It hasn’t been explained to us, we haven’t been given the opportunity to try to mitigate, we have basically been told, ‘you can’t effectively mitigate in your environment, and so, therefore, we are going to make the decision for you,'” said Faircloth.

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