Articles Regarding Recent Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits and Legislation

Articles Regarding Recent Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits and Legislation

| Aug 24, 2020 | Firm News

I read a slew of interesting online articles this month regarding lawsuits involving the required wearing of facemasks by students in public schools, for protection against COVID-19, and also regarding the recent enactment of legislation to protect workers and employees from being attacked for following and implementing Coronavirus-related safety regulations.  The most recent article, Pritzker wins injunction against 3 Illinois Schools not complying with mask mandate, 17 ABC/Fox 39 Eyewitness News, mystateline.com, August 18, 2020, dealt with Governor Pritzker’s victory, as well as that of the Illinois Department of Public Health, in prevailing in an injunction and declaratory judgment action jointly filed on their behalf by the Illinois Attorney General’s office in Sangamon County against three Illinois school districts that claimed that they did not have to require students to wear facemasks in school.[1]  Governor Pritzker’s aforesaid injunction was supported by various Illinois teachers organizations and associations, who feared that, with no Coronavirus vaccine currently available, the only way to prevent the continued spread of the disease among students is to adhere to strict safety protocols in schools.[2]  Another case was also decided in favor of those seeking to enforce state COVID guidelines, this time in Adams County. See Judge dismissed lawsuit over Quincy school’s mask, temperature policy, News 3 ABC WSIL WSIL.com WGEM, August 6, 2020.[3]  A parent had filed suit to oppose the Quincy Public School’s requirement that students wear facemasks and have their temperatures taken at school, but the Court granted the Quincy Public School Board’s motion to dismiss the suit, holding that the school board had the right to adopt rules related to the maintenance of student health and safety.[4]  Governor Pritzker also signed into law Senate Bill 471, which was devised partly to afford protection to workers and employees who are attacked while upholding or relaying safety and health directives and regulations. See Illinois law adds penalty for attacking workers who enforce health safety guidelines, Fox 32 Chicago, August 8, 2020.[5]  Under Senate Bill 471, the crime of aggravated battery now includes the assaulting of an employee that is following Coronavirus guidelines.[6]  There are yet still other lawsuits pending that relate to Coronavirus-related safety measures, and one of the attorneys for the three school districts that challenged Governor Pritzker’s Coronavirus safety guidelines for students, had requested that the Illinois Supreme Court consolidate the above-mentioned injunction suit in Sangamon County with another case pending in Clay County, in which Coronavirus-related school guidelines are being challenged as well. See School face mask lawsuit awaiting decision. News Channel ABC 20, by WICS/WRSP Staff, Monday, August 3, 2020.[7] It appears that the Illinois Supreme Court allowed Governor Pritzker’s injunction in Sangamon County to proceed anyway, despite the request by the attorney to combine the case with the Clay County action, which must have been a relief to Governor Pritzker and the concerned supporters of his suit.

-Attorney Matthew Ludwinski

1]See Pritzker wins injunction against 3 Illinois Schools not complying with mask mandate, 17 ABC/Fox 39 Eyewitness News, mystateline.com, from August 18, 2020 (The Associated Press Contributed to this Report).
[1]See Id.
[1]See Judge dismissed lawsuit over Quincy school’s mask, temperature policy, News 3 ABC WSIL WSIL.com WGEM, August 6, 2020.
[1]See Id.
[1]See Illinois law adds penalty for attacking workers who enforce health safety guidelines, Fox 32 Chicago, August 8, 2020.
[1]See Id.
[1]See School face mask lawsuit awaiting decision. News Channel ABC 20, by WICS/WRSP Staff, Monday, August 3, 2020.