DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Bar owners in Dallas and other Texas cities are filing a lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott for an order that shut them down again during the pandemic. The owners believe politics played a part in the decision.
Eight bars located in Dallas, Terrell and Austin joined together for the lawsuit, accusing Abbott of issuing what they call “scientifically unfounded orders” regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He’s discriminating against standalone bars,” Jason Friedman, attorney for the bar owners, said. “The governor has allowed hotel bars to be open, bowling alley bars to be open, restaurant bars to be open.”
The Dallas attorney’s lawsuit includes photos from inside several area restaurant and hotel bars, which the governor has allowed to remain open. He said they are no more safe than the standalone bars he represents.
“These bar owners came to me because they are in a fight for their life,” Friedman said. “… The governor’s executive order here is almost certain to eliminate standalone bars.”
Friedman’s lawsuit also accuses the governor of political pandering because some of the members of the governor’s COVID-19 task force are restaurant and hotel magnates.
CBS 11 News reached out to the governor’s office for a comment but has not heard back.
“My clients want to follow all of the protocols. However, the process has to be fair if the governor is going to restrict the use of the bars then he should restrict the use of all the bars, not just the standalone bars,” Friedman said. “Their employees have kids, they have bills to pay, they have leases, they have mortgages, support payments and these people can’t pay their bills.”
The attorney for the bar owners said he will seek a temporary restraining order and injunction that will allow the bars to reopen.