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Oregon restaurants sue Gov. Brown in federal court, seek relief from 2-week freeze

Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association

Say they are seeking to prevent 'economic devastation for industry'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Restaurant Law Center filed a joint complaint in federal court Friday for injunctive relief from the “Two-Week Freeze” mandated by the Governor, which prohibits indoor and outdoor dining in restaurants through Dec. 2.

"This action was taken to save many restaurants around the state, and to protect the livelihoods of thousands of food service workers who rely on restaurants and their customers," the organizations said in a news release announcing the lawsuit, which continues below:

Both restaurants and their employees continue to suffer from the devastating effects of ongoing regulatory orders in Oregon during this pandemic.

“The restaurant industry prefers engaging in partnerships with our leaders in government,” said Jason Brandt, President and CEO of ORLA. “The latest restaurant restrictions in Executive Order 20-65 published on November 17 lack equity and due process.

"We hope to engage in communication with Governor Kate Brown and her professional staff as soon as possible to work towards a resolution that has not been available to us at this stage. In the meantime, Oregon’s restaurant operators must continue to follow all orders executed by the Governor until a federal court addresses the serious legal concerns brought forth by the industry.”

“The number one priority of America’s restaurant industry is to provide a safe and healthy environment for guests and employees,” said Angelo Amador, Executive Director of the Restaurant Law Center. “The industry is following applicable federal, state and local operating guidelines, and, where necessary, adapted their business models and adopted countless new measures to ensure that diners and workers remain safe.

"A blanket ban on indoor and outdoor dining is wrong and we believe the latest executive order in Oregon is also illegal. We hope our Complaint will encourage the Governor and other officials to meet to develop a more reasonable and pragmatic approach that protects the livelihood of restaurant industry workers and restaurateurs across the state.”

Click here to read the Complaint.

About the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which is comprised of approximately 10,000 foodservice locations and 2,000 lodging establishments with a workforce prior to COVID of 183,191.

About the Restaurant Law Center
Restaurant Law Center is a public policy organization affiliated with the National Restaurant Association dedicated exclusively to defending the restaurant industry against government overreach at the local, state, and federal level by providing a voice for the industry in our judicial system.

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  1. Yesssss! Finally a group taking an interest in one’s right to engage in free trade and commerce without the government’s intrusion. Many agree that Kate Brown overstepped her bounds and this is a constitutional violation. Finally someone harmed by the mandates trying to keep our government in check. What about freedom to assemble?? Is that why she’s backed off the “telling us” not to have people for the holidays and is now “urging”??

  2. My business is completely shut, so I can appreciate the pain. One of my concerns about related restaurant quotes was when the Restaurant and Lodging Association states that workplace COVID-19 cases aren’t very high. This is true.
    What I as a patron want to know is can you guarantee I won’t catch COVID-19 while at your business, not just worker concerns. . Since I must take my mask off to eat it is a vulnerable business.
    If they sue and win, will they survive the lawsuits from their customers? Will they survive the backlash? Probably. But I hope they are also asking themselves these questions. Our community had two restaurants that opened for full service while others stayed closed, their businesses have taken a serious hit because they aren’t trusted to keep patrons safe, based on their business model.
    These are the most challenging times I’ve ever seen as a business.

    1. Hey rural guy, the following quote of yours is ridiculous “ What I as a patron want to know is can you guarantee I won’t catch COVID-19 while at your business, ” Try applying that logic to anything you do and I hope you enjoy hiding under your blanky in your bunker. Don’t drive, don’t go near water or outside. You’re the only one that can guarantee your own safety. It is not mine or anyone else’s responsibility to babysit you.

      1. Ok. Want to drive a car, need registration. Serious accident and the road might be closed, same for terrible snow/ice storm. Signs posted, road closed. If you choose to drive around all the signs, and then cause a serious accident, you are responsible and your will definitely have financial responsibilities. If ODOT chose to not close a dangerous road they could easily be held responsible.
        My business is licensed through…. guess what, the state of Oregon. I have a variety of rules that I honor because they are the rules, but also to limit my liability.
        It is a delicate balance.
        This time with more information at their disposal, and changes in CDC guidelines, the state is leaving most businesses at 75% capacity -with mask requirements. Restaurants/bars can’t serve people inside and still have customers wearing masks, meet basic safety standards.
        These are unprecedented times. Again, the most difficult time I have experienced, including my business opening in the late 90’s.
        I am not talking about not living, I’m actually talking about how to stay alive. How to keep yourself, your family and hopefully your business alive until we can get through this, get vaccinated.
        Another business grant came out yesterday. I hope we will see more of these, and larger ones also.

        1. I drive over multiple passes in Oregon weekly, since when do people sue ODOT for Ice and Snow? I am sure someone like you would jump on the “I did not chain up, slid off the road, it is ODOTs fault” but no, this is not a thing and you are comparing apples to oranges.

          1. Nope, it’s easy to chain up, having grown up here I’m used to snow, used to tough reliable local residents, and used to people that don’t sue. My road example is if you choose to ignore the road closed signs you would have a different liability. That’s it. Restaurants suing to open might take longer than the lock down is, set themselves up for additional liability, and also alienate a group of customers (the ones who often have the funds to eat out); all to the restaurants detriment.
            I haven’t made any personal attacks in my dialogue, yet people who disagree with me sure do. I really miss the time when we could disagree, have dialogue, everyone learn and modify their stance a bit. When attacked most people double down, and they can’t hear a word said.

        2. So RuralRes- why all the sugar and spice ? “the state is leaving most businesses at 75% capacity -with mask requirements.”….. Ummmm- No ! Museums-Libraries-Theaters-Gyms- all forms of indoor and outdoor fitness and recreation- Churches- indoor pools- gardens to just name a few. Shops and pharmacies that were once open are now limited- restaurants take out only- Brown is now trying to tell us all how many people we can have into our homes- clearly government over-reach and completely unlawful- so much so the Sheriff out in Crook County called BS- made it clear- he won’t enforce or part-take in her violations of our civil liberties. Oh- and I hope you don’t think the new handle is fooling anyone !

    2. If you fear for your safety in a manor that your worried about getting covid from eating at a sit down place then its simple…just don’t go. Perhaps each establishment should have a liability waiver people sign at the door.

      1. I agree, just don’t go. And many people aren’t going. My point was more about suing the state of Oregon and possible repercussions, including liability if responsible for customer illness, costs around this and death.
        I wonder if the normal business liability insurance would cover your costs if you are open when told not to be?

  3. “It’s not just that the anti-mask, anti-distancing, anti-testing Republicans are wrong as a matter of public policy,” tweeted Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative anti-Trump Bulwark. “It’s not even that they lack empathy for those who suffer. They relish their lack of empathy. They glory in their callousness. They are proud of their inhumanity.”

    1. Kuya,

      That is the most ignorant comment I have seen from either side in years.

      You obviously have not been to Portland in the last 6 months.

      There are many slanderous names given to the let and the right. Most are not all that accurate. What is accurate is that the left are extremely hypocritical with their elitist “do as I say, not as I do” attitude towards so many issues.

  4. Seems to be a pretty weak “Association” ! “Both restaurants and their employees continue to suffer from the devastating effects of ongoing regulatory orders in Oregon during this pandemic.”…. If they had any clout- they woulda used their businesses as gathering points to recall Kate Brown when they had the chance. Sorry- but you kids didn’t take this nut bag in Salem seriously way back in April- now look at what’s she’s done to you- and many of us predicted it ! You have only yerselves to blame… elections have consequences- and Oregon can’t seem to get it right !

  5. Great. Brown again shows her true color (brown). The state will now use our tax money to defend itself. How can anybody be so stupid as to vote for this “thing”?

    1. The same people that voted for her and think she is doing an awesome job,
      are the ones that will be turning their neighbors in for exceeding the queens
      arbitrary number of allowable visitors…
      Who would have ever thought that a Governor in the United States would tell people
      to squeal on their neighbors ? Hitler would be so proud of Brown…

      I wonder how long it will be until this idiot enacts a curfew like her friend in California ? They are now supposed to be home by 10 p.m, and not leave until 5 a.m
      the next day. That is ridiculous. The risk of contracting the virus is going to be
      substantially higher before 10 p.m when everyone is still out. This isn’t going to
      accomplish anything, but that’s not a big surprise. This is from the same idiot that
      got busted having a big party at a restaurant and nobody was wearing masks…

  6. I find it odd that, since the Democrats seem to be heading towards defeat due to their rampant election fraud, we are now having Democrat governors pushing new Lockdowns and Covid tests using the PCR test which has a 70% inaccuracy rate. This forces many otherwise healthy citizens to quarantine for 14 days. This is just another attack on President Trump’s plan to make America Great! It is Trump Derangement Syndrome all over again! Also, MSM needs to be accountable for their lies. They are not journalists when they speak untruths.

  7. Keep things open. Period.

    I don’t think shutting things down is going to do any good. The toothpaste can not be put back in the tube. People should look at the bright side of this pandemic.

    1. Since the hotspots and rampant infections are happening in predominantly conservative Republican states and areas…and by and large, they are the ones resisting these mandates to the core of their being…let them continue to spread the disease and kill each other off. Ridding ourselves of more Republicans and Trump enthusiasts is certainly preferable to keeping their racist, science denying, minority hating, backwards kind walking around this country and destroying it from within. Also, with less Trumpists comes less chance of that distasteful family entering politics again and threatening our national security. Also…less Qanon lunatics walking about.

    2. Less old people means less people tapping into social security. Since they are worried about it running out, this will help ensure your feeble granny…who was going to die anyway, right?…won’t be sucking off the public teat like the non-producer she is.

    3. As the disease continues on, we can rapidly identify those in society not handicapped by an overabundance of book learning and common sense by their ignoring masks and groups and avoid them like the plague they carry.

    4. With population numbers dwindling due to the sacrifices of the Darwin Award winning “I’m not gonna be some sheep” crowd, the Earth can catch a break. Less people means less taxing of our natural resources, less pollution in the air and seas, less need for land for food, less traffic, less crowding, less everything that is the blight of humanity. For the science believers with common sense who will take practical measures to keep themselves safe…Earth will be much more tolerable to live in

    So I hope they do open things up. I hope churches have big congregational meetings again (mine won’t…God doesn’t need you in a building to hear you) and spread it around. I hope Republicans have HUGE rallies and BIG family reunions and receptions and dinners. I hope they proudly refuse to wear their masks, stay home, avoid large groups, and even wash their hands. I hope they just do all they can to catch this disease and prove how strong they are and how big of a hoax this is. It’s their patriotic duty to get infected and show the world how tough “real Americans” are. God bless them all.

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