San Diego County businesses sue amid rollback in reopening restrictions

Posted at 5:29 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 12:47:38-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — With another round of coronavirus closures set to begin Saturday, several San Diego County businesses are fighting back legally.

Despite the change to California's most restrictive reopening tier, Pacers and Cheetah's adult entertainment clubs won't be shutting their doors. Last week, the businesses won a suit against the county and a judge granted a temporary restraining order allowing them to stay open.

An attorney representing Pacers told ABC 10News their argument centered around first amendment rights, and adult entertainment is a protected form of expression. It's unclear if that argument could apply to other businesses, but he added that there are other legal paths to challenging the closures.

Another suit has also been filed by a group of San Diego County gyms, but no decision has been made yet.

San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar says the legal actions are understandable given the tough situation.

"Now we're threatening the workforce again we're threatening the closure of these businesses again and I think this is entirely unsustainable for our business community," Gaspar said.

Gaspar added that the county has appealed to the state to avoid the tier change, asking them to take into account other factors, including where a majority of outbreaks are linked to and the county's hospitalization rate.

"At this point in time our hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at 6%, there's a lot of capacity left in our hospitals system," Gaspar said.

On the heels of the successful adult entertainment lawsuit, Gaspar says it stands to reason other businesses could do the same.

"You could make the case as a restaurant owner as a gym owner that our data does not support this decision to close down and closing down will create undue financial harm to these businesses it has already I think they have a strong compelling case," she said.

Although individual businesses are fighting back legally, Gaspar says at this point, it doesn't appear the county has plans to file suit against the state.

"So far there hasn't been anything that's come out of those closed sessions to suggest that the County of San Diego will proceed along that route," said Gaspar.