Kentucky businesses file lawsuit challenging governor’s COVID-19 actions

Published 5:58 am Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A group of Kentucky businesses has filed a lawsuit in Scott County Circuit Court challenging Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 executive orders.

Louisville businesses Goodwood Brewing Company and Dundee Tavern and Georgetown restaurant Trindy’s are seeking a temporary and permanent injunction against Beshear’s regulations enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawsuit says the three businesses have struggled to stay in business and want Beshear to adhere to laws recently passed by the state legislature.

The lawsuit argues the governor continues to require businesses to comply with executive orders that should have expired following the passing of House Bill 1, Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 2.

The laws were blocked by Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd who said Beshear’s administration made a strong case that the laws could “undermine, or even cripple” necessary public health measures. The executive orders were due to expire March 5.

The lawsuit questions Shepherd’s order and said it was “in error” and “does not bind” the businesses.

Pacific Legal Foundation, who represents the businesses, released a statement to WHAS in Louisville saying that the governor authority is not unlimited and that the legislature “has the constitutional obligation to weigh in on the Commonwealth’s emergency powers and ensure they are not used to arbitrarily restrict individuals and businesses.”

Beshear announced businesses could increase capacity to 60% beginning March 5. Mask mandates are still in effect and 60% capacity is only allowed if places can do so while maintaining proper social distancing.