California Gov. Gavin Newsom is being sued by over 50 businesses in the Bay Area who say the stay-at-home restrictions imposed on their businesses, violated the state constitution and are “arbitrary, irrational and unfair.”

The lawsuit was filed on Jan. 19, in Napa County Superior Court by The Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening. The group is made up of restaurants, wineries and other businesses across Napa and Sonoma counties. The group has said that there was no rational reason to shutdown outdoor dining in December, and forced many to “slip into financial ruin.”

Gov. Newsom enforced more lock-down mandates in December, after California reported a surge in COVID-19 cases. Among the enforcements were the shutdown of indoor and outdoor dining and drinking, mandating restaurants to only serve take-out and delivery

The coalition is alleging that the enforcements did not come with enough scientific evidence to support that outdoor dining puts individuals at a higher risk than other activities such as shopping in indoor malls and working on film sets. 

The lawsuit claims that Newsom is violating equal protection laws afforded by the California Constitution, among other violations.

This is not the first time the California Gov. has been sued after mandating shutdowns in the state. In May of 2020, a Newport Beach official sued Newsom after he shut down Orange County beaches. Two Sacramento residents and church leaders in the state also sued Newsom in April over stay-at-home orders.

After the restrictions were put in place in December, three restaurants sued Newsom using similar arguments. California Restaurant Assn. and a downtown L.A. restaurant sued over the outdoor dining ban, leading to an L.A County judge ordering the county to provide a cost-benefit analysis to justify the restrictions. The decision was paused, and the hearing is set for February. 

Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks owner, Angela Marsden, also sued Newsom over the strict orders. A viral video shows Marsden fighting back tears over the closure of her restaurant, as she watched an outdoor dining area for a Hollywood film crew set up right across the street from her. 

Written ByHaley Weger

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