Restaurant owners sue New York City, de Blasio over indoor vaccine mandate
An organization representing independently owned restaurants filed a lawsuit against New York City and its mayor on Tuesday in an attempt to block the city from implementing its vaccine mandate.
The plaintiffs include the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue in addition to several restaurants in different boroughs and fitness facilities.
Their lawsuit argued that an executive order issued by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday requiring people to show proof of at least one vaccine shot at facilities including restaurants, gyms and indoor entertainment spaces would hinder their “business, life savings and livelihood.”
The businesses said in their lawsuit they were seeking an injunction that would stop the city from enforcing the requirement.
Staten Island’s Max’s Esca, DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant and Pasticceria Rocco are among the other plaintiffs in the case.
The borough of Staten Island’s business owners have fumed over COVID-19 mitigation measures in New York City. At the beginning of the pandemic, the owner of Mac’s Public House was arrested twice for violating COVID-19 city protocols. The owner, Danny Presti, also is accused of injuring a police officer while trying to escape law enforcement in his car.
He was later charged following the incident.
The executive order went into effect on Tuesday. Enforcement for the vaccine mandate begins Sept. 13, according to CNBC.
“This vaccine mandate is arbitrary and capricious due to the fact that it targets certain establishments but not others with no rational what so ever,” the lawsuit said.
“What makes these particular establishments so dangerous? Nothing,” the plaintiffs argued.
Nicholas Paolucci, director of public affairs and press secretary for the city’s law department, told The Hill in a statement that it was reviewing the lawsuit.
De Blasio expressed confidence on Wednesday the city had the legal justification to implement its mandate.
“I’ve had the conversation with the law department, tremendous confidence that we’re in a very strong legal position. We’re in a global pandemic still. The decisions that have been taken, have been taken with the leadership of our health officials who have been fighting this battle from the beginning,” said de Blasio, when asked about the lawsuit Wednesday.
In addition to New York City, New Orleans and San Francisco have announced similar mandates.