Michigan restaurant group sues health department over indoor dining restrictions

Michigan restaurant group sues health department over indoor dining restrictions

A restaurant group in Michigan has sued the state’s health department over new coronavirus restrictions in the state. 

On Tuesday, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association filed a complaint against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon after the department announced that restaurants and bars would not be allowed to offer indoor dining for the next three weeks. 

The restaurant association, along with two other groups, filed the injunction in federal court asking for restaurants to be allowed to continue to serve patrons indoors.

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“We have taken this action only after careful deliberation and as the last available option to prevent the outright devastation of restaurant operators and their hundreds of thousands of employees across the state,” association President and CEO Justin Winslow said in a statement.

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The association would agree to reduce indoor dining capacity to 25% and after a 10 p.m. curfew for the next three weeks.

A Michigan restaurant association has sued the state in an attempt to continue offering indoor dining after the health department announced new coronavirus restrictions on Sunday. (iStock)

A Michigan restaurant association has sued the state in an attempt to continue offering indoor dining after the health department announced new coronavirus restrictions on Sunday. (iStock)

“While our proposal would undeniably challenge an already beleaguered industry, it was presented to Director Gordon and the Executive Office of the Governor in earnest to stave off the far worse impact of outright closure,” Winslow said.

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According to Winslow’s statement, the association estimates more than 6,000 restaurants will be closed permanently by spring.

The association filed the complaint along with Heirloom Hospitality Group, LLC and H.I.H. Inc., in the U.S. District Court of Western Michigan. 

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The state health department announced the new restrictions on Sunday as a way to “curb the rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates,” the announcement said

Aside from restrictions on restaurants, the department also said that group fitness classes, organized sports, casinos, movie theaters, high schools and colleges, among others, would have to be closed for the next three weeks

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