Some Wichita businesses file a lawsuit over city, county coronavirus restrictions

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – More than a dozen businesses and business owners in the Wichita area have filed a lawsuit against almost every person who is connected in some way to coronavirus restrictions in the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County.

The plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are Blue Nightclub and Darren Greiving; Club Indigo Old Town LLC, dba Industry Old Town, and Bradley Steven; Vorshay’s Cocktail Lounge and Steven Peters; The Cowboy Inn and Jeannie Ahrens; Party Express, LLC and Dallas Broz; Wichita’s Ballroom Chaomin HSU; Augustino Brewing Co. and Augustine Lacopelli; The Stop and Alan Brinkman; The Rusty Nail and Kristi Ivy; A&J’s Music Room Bar & Grill and Art Agner; Revolution Loung and Kyle Okumura; Nick Sutter; and Josiah McCoy.

The Stop owner Alan Brinkman said the health restrictions and curfew has killed business. Brinkman said this lawsuit is the life jacket that could keep his bar afloat.

“I know that me and my business partner have had very, very stressful year, not only with the regulations, but in our personal lives because of these regulations,” said Brinkman. “We feel we’ve done our part, we have to decide now whether we take steps to close our business or fight to keep our businesses open.”

The attorney representing the bars said there are some legal challenges dealing with public health and citizens’ constitutional rights, but said the businesses should not lose their constitutional rights during a pandemic.

“Bars and restaurants have been horribly and terribly affected economically, specifically by the curfew,” said David Miller. “The constitution is for all times, all circumstances even in a pandemic.”

The list of defendants is equally long. It includes the Wichita mayor, some members of the Wichita City Council, some members of the Sedgwick County Commission, the Sedgwick County local health officer, the Wichita police chief, the Sedgwick County sheriff, the Sedgwick County park superintendent, the county manager, the county fire chief, and others.

The lawsuit claims that restrictions put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus and enforcement of those restrictions are infringing on the businesses’ constitutional rights.

Read the complete petition here.

The plaintiffs want to have Dr. Garold Minns’ health order, Sedgwick County Resolution 154-2020, and Wichita City Council Resolution 20-369 declared null and void. They are requesting an immediate injunction to keep the restrictions from being enforced.

The plaintiffs have requested a jury trial.

KSN is attempting to get a response from the defendants.

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