A woman wears a face masks to protect against the coronavirus as she carries her groceries past closed shops April 14, 2020, on Roosevelt Avenue in the Queens borough of New York.
(The Center Square) – Nine Buffalo businesses have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo alleging the state has overreached in its COVID-19 pandemic response and violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.
The complaint was filed Aug. 7 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York against Cuomo, the New York state Senate, Attorney General Letitia James, and the New York state Assembly.
According to the suit, the plaintiffs have been financially harmed due to the governor’s executive orders that shut down nonessential businesses and the failure of the Legislature and attorney general to keep the governor’s actions in check.
Bimber’s Delwood, Inc. et al v. James et al was filed by attorneys Steven Cohen and Corey Hogan, and says lawmakers “have permitted the State of New York to take on the governmental attributes of a monarchy,” the Buffalo News reported.
The attorney general “abdicated” her role in her interpretation of Cuomo’s executive orders, according to the claim, which was filed on behalf of Pharaohs GC, Inc., Five Star Lanes, Inc., The Cowboy of Chippewa, Inc., Four Aces Bar & Grill, Karate Ken’s, LTD, Bimber’s Delwood, Inc., The Body Shop Gentlemen’s Club, Inc., Bison Billiards Inc. and Soonertunes Productions.
The suit claims that if the governor didn’t put forth the executive orders as a means to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the businesses themselves would have relied on their own determinations to follow health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The populace, including the businesses thereof, do not need the iron hand of governmental authority to compel business owners to take precautions under these circumstances,” the suit states.
The plaintiffs want compensation for lost business resulting from the mandated closures and for the judge to rule that Cuomo’s executive orders were “substantively unconstitutional” and “exceed the scope of his authority,” WKBW reported.