Here’s the check: Restaurants serve NY $2B lawsuit

Hundreds of establishments demand damages and indoor dining from city, state

New York /
Aug.August 31, 2020 06:50 PM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

Restaurants are finally bringing the check to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and it’s not pretty.

More than 300 restaurants are seeking class-action status for a lawsuit against the city and state, demanding they fork over $2 billion for banning indoor dining, Crain’s reported.

Legal action had been threatened by the New York City Hospitality Alliance weeks ago, but the lawsuit is unaffiliated with the trade group.

The lead plaintiff in the suit is the Queens restaurant Il Bacco, which sits just 500 feet from the Nassau County border, where indoor dining is allowed at 50 percent capacity.

“According to Gov. Cuomo, it is dangerous to eat at [Il Bacco] in Little Neck, Queens, but it is safe to dine indoors a few hundred feet east,” says the suit.

New York City is the only area of the state where indoor dining is not allowed. The lawsuit — filed the same day that New Jersey announced indoor dining will resume at 25 percent capacity — argues that there is no scientific evidence for the restriction.

De Blasio has said some cities around the world shut down indoor dining when Covid cases began to surge this summer. He recently mused that city eateries might have to wait for an effective vaccine. Indoor dining has been banned since mid-March.

Championed by attorney James Mermigis, who also filed a class-action lawsuit by gyms, the complaint also makes constitutional arguments, including appeals to the Fourth and Fifth amendments.

Mermigis told Crain’s that he expects the lawsuit to grow to between 500 and 750 restaurants.

“We’re at a point where if you don’t file a lawsuit,” he said, “nothing’s gonna get done.”

Cuomo announced a reopening plan for gyms shortly after they sued. [Crain’s] — Sasha Jones


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
American Dream Mall (Getty)
American Dream mall drains reserves to make payment on $290M debt
American Dream mall drains reserves to make payment on $290M debt
Macerich CEO Thomas O'Hern (iStock)
“Revenge buying” powers mall owner Macerich to crush estimates
“Revenge buying” powers mall owner Macerich to crush estimates
Clockwise from top left: Charles Cohen, Douglas Durst and 657 West 57th Street Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)
Durst sues Landmark Theatres for $49M in damages, unpaid rent at UWS cinema
Durst sues Landmark Theatres for $49M in damages, unpaid rent at UWS cinema
27 Whitehall Street (Google Maps, iStock)
Fidi landlord accused of permitting massage parlor prostitution
Fidi landlord accused of permitting massage parlor prostitution
Construction worker accuses JDS Development of discrimination
Construction worker accuses JDS Development of discrimination
Construction worker accuses JDS Development of discrimination
Family feud for $11M Lundy’s restaurant building boils over
Family feud for $11M Lundy’s restaurant building boils over
Family feud for $11M Lundy’s restaurant building boils over
CEO David Simon (Simon Property Group)
Simon Property raises full-year guidance as shoppers return to stores
Simon Property raises full-year guidance as shoppers return to stores
Photo Illustration of Paramount Group Chairman, CEO and President Albert Behler in a Manhattan Equinox (Paramount, Equinox, Getty)
Despite rent-deferral agreement, landlord claims Equinox still won’t pay
Despite rent-deferral agreement, landlord claims Equinox still won’t pay
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...