Restaurant House owners Sue Iowa Over COVID-19 Restrictions

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Person sitting at a restaurant table

The owner of Mudders Tavern in Iowa is suing Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health over COVID-19 corporate restrictions in the state.

The coronavirus pandemic is raging stronger than ever in much of the country, triggering a new wave of lockdowns and restrictions for citizens and business owners from California to Maine. However, unlike the first round of lockdowns in spring, these recent lockdowns are not being backed with government stimulus money or increased unemployment benefits to help business owners and unemployed citizens get through. As a result, some business owners are pushing against governors and mayors trying to keep their businesses closed for an unknown length of time. For example, a tavern owner in Dallas County, Iowa recently filed a lawsuit seeking class action status on allegations that “Governor Kim Reynolds’ pandemic restrictions on business are in violation of the Iowa Constitution.”

Gavel and law books; Image by Succo via Pixabay.com.

The lawsuit was brought by attorneys at Brick-Gentry, Des Moines, and Gossett & Gossett, Hollywood, Florida, on behalf of Amy Culp, owner of the Mudders Tavern, and all other Iowan who were in a similar situation, submitted. The lawsuit lists Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Reynolds declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then issued “more than 20 proclamations preventing various companies from operating in Iowa.” These proclamations, including those that have closed restaurants like the Mudders Tavern, are alleged to be in violation of the Iowa Constitution. According to the state constitution, “men and women have the right to seek and obtain security and happiness”. The lawsuit argues that Reynolds’ decrees “violate Culp’s right to due process and protection and that the state’s failure to communicate orders to business owners is manifestly inappropriate”.

Since there are countless numbers of business owners going through situations similar to Culp, the suit seeks class action status. In fact, Culp’s attorneys contend that “the potential number of plaintiffs in the case is numerous and there is a legal issue common to the entire class”.

It’s important to note that, according to state records, Mudders received a grant of $ 10,000 through the Iowa Business Disruption Relief program. The program is intended to provide financial support to taverns like Mudders, along with “breweries, pubs, distilleries and similar establishments affected by the pandemic”.

Since the pandemic began, it is estimated that more than 223,000 people across Iowa have contracted the virus and around 2,300 have died.

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The bar owner is filing a class action lawsuit over Iowa’s COVID-19 restrictions on doing business

November was Iowa’s deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic, with over 600 Iowans dying from COVID-19