More than 50 wineries and restaurants in Napa and Sonoma Counties in California have sued Gov. Gavin Newsom arguing that their constitutional rights have been violated by his ban on in-person dining.
The case was filed on Jan. 19 by the Wine Country Coalition for Safe Reopening, according to KTLA, and names California Public Health Department director Tomas Aragon as well as the governor. It alleges that Gov. Newsom and the public health department have not provided scientific evidence that shows outdoor dining is more dangerous than permitted activities like shopping at an indoor mall or working on a film set.
“There is no evidence indicating that when conducted with protective measures, outdoor dining or wine tasting contributes to the spread of the disease,” the lawsuit reads. “To the contrary, the data indicate that this outdoor activity presents very low risk.” (RELATED: Judge Says Decision To Ban Outdoor Dining In Los Angeles Was ‘Arbitrary’ And Lacked ‘Risk-Benefit Analysis’)
It continues by saying that the governor’s outdoor dining ban increases risk because it drives people into indoor gatherings that more easily spread COVID-19. The lawsuit’s causes of action allege that the governor’s December stay-at-home order banning outdoor dining violates the California Constitution’s equal protection and due process clauses.
The coalition posted on its website that it filed its lawsuit “based on the most reliable and current scientific data showing outdoor dining can be achieved.”
“We will not stand by as state regulations force our businesses to close, perpetuate financial hardship on our employees, and cause skilled workers to flee Wine Country and California more broadly,” the post reads.