Macomb County restaurants file lawsuit seeking compensation for COVID-19 precautions, profit loss

17-page lawsuit filed Thursday morning

Macomb County restaurants sue state over losses during pandemic shutdowns

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – The Macomb County Restaurant, Bar, and Banquet Association have asked for a jury trial in an attempt to force Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to pay for the losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first 10 pages of its 17-page court filling goes over the challenges the service industry has faced during the coronavirus crisis.

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The association is angry about the ups and down, and they’re looking for the state to not just funnel federal funds their way.

Mount Clemens Recreation and Bowl on Crocker Boulevard -- locally known as Rec Bowl -- opened 70 years ago.

“We need to be open,” Fred Fox said. “Several of my competitors have gone out of business and that’s the sad thing. We can’t serve ‘em all. Any one place cannot serve ‘em all.”

RELATED: Full list of 40 Michigan businesses that have had liquor licenses suspended over COVID rules

Fox’s family has owned Rec Bowl from the start and they’re worried about the future. That’s why he -- and the rest of the Macomb County Restaurant, Bar, and Banquet Association -- filed the lawsuit that alleges “new, different and unforeseen business expenses attributable to the COVID-19 orders are extreme,” and that “lost profits suffered by these businesses are astronomical.”

The lawsuit is looking for monetary compensation for the potential lost profits.

“Just compensation must be rendered. It doesn’t say ‘Well, unless the state really really needs it,’ or they don’t have to give just compensation if there’s an epidemic.” said attorney Shaun King. “That’s what we’re looking for, the state’s constitutional duty to remit money to these businesses to make them whole again.”

“If we get compensation, that’ll help,” Fox said. “Many have had things worse than others. But if we can’t open, we’re done.”

RELATED: Macomb County’s SMART bus vaccination program draws praise, but doses remain in low supply

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.