Governor Edwards Responds to Bar Owner Class Action Suit
Several bar owners in Louisiana have filed a class-action lawsuit against Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. The suit alleges that the Governor's order to close bars in the name of COVID-19 mitigation is unfair to them and detrimental to their business. The suit alleges that bars have been unfairly singled out in the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday during his daily press briefing Governor Edwards responded to questions concerning the lawsuit. In comments chronicled by the Louisiana Radio Network, Edwards said,
I believe at the end of the day that the court will fully understand that not only do I have the authority under the Constitution, the laws of the United States to do what I’ve done, but what I’ve done is absolutely essential.
The bar owners' suit alleges that only a small number of cases can be traced backed to bars. The Louisiana Department of Health has reported that there have been 464 confirmed cases of the disease that can be traced back to 41 different drinking establishments.
While Governor Edwards was quick to agree that the bar owners should have their day in court, he also stated that he felt his decision to ban on-premise consumption of alcohol at bars was backed by solid evidence from reliable sources.
It has been determined by healthcare professionals that there are some environments, some venues that are so conducive to the spread of the coronavirus that they really cannot be done safely and are bar rooms are one of those, unfortunately
Louisiana has seen fewer reported cases of COVID-19 over the past few days and the hospitalization rates are beginning to decrease as well. However, with many hospitals in the state at or near capacity speculation is that barring a decision from the courts the Governor's position on keeping bars closed will not change anytime soon.