No settlement in Restaurants vs NYS lawsuit

New York State

No agreement was made after a settlement conference for the restaurant lawsuit against the state took place Monday morning.

More than 60 restaurants are taking part in the lawsuit, asking the state to allow them to reopen for indoor dining. Since Erie County made the state’s orange zone status bars and restaurants have been restricted to just outdoor dining or take out.

“It’s not politics for us. This is our lives. It’s the lives of our employees, it’s the lives of their families that are counting on our businesses to succeed,” said Greg Duell, co-owner of Duffs at Eastern Hills.

Restaurant owner Paul Santora is also a part of the lawsuit. He just lost his liquor license for COVID-19 related issues.

“We have 175 to 200 employees at our three places, we’re down to 25 people at our two restaurants right now,” said Santora. “And this slap in the face just brought us down to five employees or six employees.”

In December the state shared new data that showed a 1.43% transmission rate of COVID-19 at restaurants.

“It’s clear that it can’t be traced to any single restaurant that we’re aware of in Western New York, why would you close a business down”? said Corey Hogan of HoganWillig. “We used to have 60,000 people working in the Western New York area, it’s down to about 15,000. Half of these restaurants are going to go out of business if they’re kept closed for another month. That’s half of the restaurants in Western New York

The next court date is scheduled for January 8.

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