🇺🇸 The coronavirus litigation opportunities you didn’t see coming
A surprising mix of clients are keeping law firms busy as the economy slows: businesses and coalitions suing the government over coronavirus restrictions.
Lockdowns mean lawsuits, an odd mix of lawsuits: A conservation group in Michigan sued over a motorboat ban (the suit was later dropped because the governor dropped the ban). A bridal store is suing Ohio because it is not considered an essential business. Landscapers and gyms have filed similar lawsuits.
Success doesn’t come easy: Plaintiffs argue their 14th Amendment rights and due process have been violated. But states have wide-ranging abilities to restrict the movement of citizens during emergencies, and judges rarely side against the government when it comes to public health.
Governments are getting in on the plaintiff side, too
Missouri’s attorney general sued China last week for not doing enough to stop the coronavirus outbreak. And Mississippi joined in the blame game this week, filing a China lawsuit of its own.
With increased pressure for states to reopen, restrictive measures that remain in effect may see tougher challenges in court. U.S. Attorney General William Barr told federal prosecutors “to be on the lookout” for coronavirus orders that could violate the constitution.