The legal team that (briefly) overturned LA County’s ban on outdoor dining this month is back, and now they’re going after California Gov. Newsom
As expected, the fight over outdoor dining in Southern California is heating up. Fresh off a tentative win in Los Angeles County Superior Court, attorney and restaurant owner Mark Geragos is now taking his fight directly to the federal court system, filing a new lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom that would overturn the current outdoor dining ban. And this time, he’s got help.
Per the LA Times and others, Geragos (a lawyer who also owns Downtown LA restaurant Engine Co. No. 28) is joined in his new lawsuit by Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks. In a viral video from a couple weeks back, Marsden broke down in tears when showing an outdoor dining setup for a film crew that was erected in front of her restaurant, which had been mandated to close its own outdoor dining area.
Geragos’s previous lawsuit in LA County ended in a (sort of) victory, with Judge James Chalfant saying that officials at the LA County Department of Public Health and the LA County Board of Supervisors “acted arbitrarily” in closing outdoor dining at restaurants, chiding public health officials for a perceived “lack of data” to show that restaurants were directly causing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Chalfant’s injunction meant that, barring further evidence, county officials would have been forced to reopen on-site outdoor dining on December 16 — though the county’s own reopening timeline had already been superseded by the state-level regional stay-at-home order from Newsom’s office, which is slated to either go away or be extended on December 28. LA County officials have appealed Chalfant’s injunction.
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