Shutdown lawsuit to be held for 2020 legislative session

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 10:27 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The parties in a lawsuit regarding compensation to businesses due to the government-ordered shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic have decided to ask the court to hold the case for the 2020 legislative session.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says a lawsuit out of Sedgwick Co. raises important public policy questions. He said an agreement between the parties in the case Omega Bootcamps Inc. and Ryan Floyd v State of Kansas to delay the case. He said the lawsuit was filed in Sedgwick County District Court looking for compensation for the government-ordered shutdown of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This lawsuit raises important public policy questions extending well beyond this individual case that would be better answered by the Legislature rather than courts,” said Schmidt. “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.”

Schmidt said for this reason instead of proceeding directly to litigation, the parties have reached an agreement to ask the court together to put the lawsuit on hold during the 2020 legislative session in order to ask the Legislature to think about a comprehensive way the public policy issue of compensation for businesses for loss caused by lockdowns. He said in the event the Legislature is unable to resolve the issue globally, litigation on the case will continue and his office will provide the state a proper legal defense under current laws.

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