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AG Derek Schmidt releases statement on Wichita gym who filed a lawsuit over COVID closure against the state

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Thursday issued a statement on the delay of a lawsuit, regarding Omega Bootcamps Inc. and Ryan Floyd v. State of Kansas filed in Sedgwick County District Court, seeking compensation for the government-ordered closures of businesses during the pandemic.

Floyd told KSN earlier this month that he is seeking relief after the government shut his gym earlier this year.

“This lawsuit raises important public policy questions extending well beyond this individual case that would be better answered by the Legislature rather than courts. I agree with the basic principle, reflected in current law, that at least some of those whose property is significantly damaged by government actions undertaken for the public good during a state of emergency should be compensated for their loss. However, current law was not designed to address these sorts of business shutdown orders, and it is not certain (nor does the state concede) that the law as written applies on the facts of this or similar cases. Therefore, rather than proceeding directly to litigation, we have reached agreement with the plaintiffs to jointly ask the court to put this lawsuit on hold during the 2020 legislative session so we can ask the Legislature to consider in a comprehensive manner the public policy issue of compensation for businesses for losses caused by lockdowns. In the event the Legislature fails to resolve this issue globally, the litigation will resume and we will provide the state a proper legal defense under current law.”

Ryan Floyd

Floyd has worked in the fitness industry for over a decade. He said he’s not just fighting for his business but others in Kansas.

Floyd’s lawyers provided a response to AG Schmidt’s statement.

“By asking the legislature to take up this matter, the State is acknowledging government use claims are possible in at least some circumstances under the Kansas Emergency Management Act.  This is a major development that has statewide and possibly national implications because other states have similar statutory provisions.” said Ryan Kriegshauser, an attorney for Omega Bootcamps Inc.

“Both the State and local governments are officially on notice that they may have to compensate businesses for previously imposed restrictions,” said Josh Ney, co-counsel for Omega Bootcamps Inc.  “We call on policy makers to act to make small businesses whole after the economic devastation caused by the Governor’s shut-down orders. State and local governments must consider the economic costs associated with curfews, shut-downs, and business restrictions before allowing such unilateral power to be exercised in the future.” 

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