A Lake County, Ohio judge has ruled in favor of Rock House Fitness in their attempt to reopen, going against orders issued by Ohio Director of the Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton.
Acton, whose order in mid-March delayed the Ohio primary election citing a “public health emergency,” in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, had recently issued an order which delayed the re-opening of gyms and fitness centers until May 26.
The ruling in favor of Rock House Fitness from Judge Eugene A. Lucci allows the business to reopen by stating that Acton’s orders violated the constitutional rights of such businesses.
From Lucci’s nine-page ruling: “The director has quarantined the entire people of the state of Ohio, for much more than 14 days. The director has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms, which she deems non-essential for a period of two months. She has acted in an impermissible arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive manner and without any procedural safeguards.”
The court’s ruling also allows Rock House Fitness to seek damages for the money their business lost while shutdown under Acton’s order. Additional suits alleging violation of constitutional rights of businesses have been filed across the state of Ohio and the United States.
One local gym, Bar Benders Gym and Supplement Shop, is discussing the possibility of reopening following Wednesday’s ruling. As of Wednesday afternoon, however, BBG is still planning for a May 26 re-opening date. Two other Scioto County fitness centers, SOMC Life Center in Portsmouth and Anytime Fitness in New Boston, each also stated they were planning for a May 26 re-opening.
The state of Ohio is expected to appeal the ruling of the Lake County Court.
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