PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Several Oregon businesses have threatened a class action lawsuit against the state over COVID-19 restrictions implemented by Gov. Kate Brown to slow the spread of the virus.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that a lawyer representing the businesses argues Oregon officials should create a plan to compensate small business owners for financial hardship caused by those restrictions.
The demand letter was filed on behalf of a Linn County salon, a Coos County bowling alley and the Wilsonville Family Fun Center, better known as Bullwinkle’s.
Brown’s office said Monday it doesn’t comment on pending or potential litigation.
Oregon's House Republican Leader issued a statement on Tuesday signaling support for the lawsuit:
“The governor has exercised her authority without moderation or consideration. While the governor has the authority to protect public health, Oregonians have the right to demand equal treatment and compensation for their losses.
"Oregonians do not owe the governor their livelihoods, as she continues to move the goalposts in the fight against COVID-19. It’s past time for accountability.
"The governor has issued arbitrary, at times contradictory, standards for different communities and groups, handpicking winners and losers for who will be protected from devastating economic impacts, and who will bear the brunt of her orders. If she will not operate with an even-hand toward all Oregonians, then the citizens of Oregon will exercise their authority to call her to account.
"This lawsuit would not be necessary and could still be averted if the Governor would treat all businesses fairly.”