News 4 Buffalo

FIRST ON 4: Restaurants suing NYS land win in court

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– New York State Supreme Court Justice Henry Nowak has ruled in favor of the restaurants involved in the lawsuit against the state, allowing them to reopen under New York State yellow zone restrictions.

Those tavern and restaurant owners challenged Governor Cuomo, the State Liquor Authority and the County Health Department to come up with the science and data to justify the restrictions the governor initiated.

Attorneys for the tavern owners and the state made their case to Justice Nowak, last Friday, who has ruled the 91 tavern and restaurant owners named in the lawsuit can operate under the yellow zone regulations.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a handful of hospitality businesses in Erie County challenging Governor Cuomo to come up with the science, the data, to justify his micro cluster regulations, which they claim violate their Constitutional rights as business owners.

Justice Nowak issued a temporary injunction that allows those named establishments to open with limited seating capacity until 10:00 p.m. but it is not the final answer.

The state can still move to dismiss some or all of the tavern owner’s petition. A hearing is set for January 19.

You can view the full court ruling by clicking here.

Below is a list of restaurants named in the available court document:

Below are statements from local leaders regarding the court case:

“This ruling could not come at a better time for Western New York. Our restaurants have proven that they are able to be open and not be a source of major spread in the community. This is a step in the right direction, and we must work to safely reopen our economy. I am hopeful this ruling will be upheld.”

New York State Senator Edward Rath III

“This ruling is a win for business owners and those that know the ridiculous cure of COVID closures crippling the economy is far worse than the disease.  NYS must fully open businesses.  Governor Cuomo and Mark Poloncarz needlessly and permanently damaged families and businesses.”

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw

See how businesses are reacting:

Facebook post from The Pour House