Heidel v. Hochul
Heidel v. Hochul (U.S. Dist. Court, S.D. New York, Oct. 21, 2021): Three New York City bars and restaurants were denied money damages against the state of New York and New York City for pandemic-related closures because the federal court found the business owners did not allege sufficient injury in order to recover damages. The business owners claimed their bars and restaurants were financially destroyed as a result of restrictions put in place by the city and state in response to the pandemic. They claimed that requiring them to close constituted an impermissible taking without compensation. The court dismissed that claim because the businesses remained open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining and because they failed to describe how their revenue was affected by the restrictions. The businesses also claimed they were subject to arbitrary and irrational classifications in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Restrictions were different for essential and non-essential businesses; because bars and restaurants were classified as “essential retail,” the Equal Protection claim was dismissed. Read the full decision here.
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