Friday, September 11, 2020

Cuomo "Allows" Indoor Dining After Getting Slapped With A $2 Billion Class Action Lawsuit


nydailynews  |  “Opening restaurants, I understand the economic benefit and I understand the economic pressure they’ve been under,” Cuomo said of struggling Big Apple restaurants that have been shuttered, relegated to takeout or serving customers outdoors for months.

The governor, who has faced criticism for his hesitation to allow restaurants to seat diners indoors, set a Nov. 1 deadline to reassess the COVID-19 infection rate. If the number remains low, indoor dining capacity could increase to 50%.

The announcement comes after business owners filed a $2 billion class-action lawsuit, alleging the state is violating the constitutional rights of more than 150,000 New York City restaurateurs. The industry employs roughly 300,000 people in the city.

New York State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island), who joined the suit against the governor earlier this week, said the state should act faster to assist eateries.

“While we’re happy the city and state have acknowledged the plight of the restaurant industry, it’s not enough," she said. "We will continue to proceed with the lawsuit until New York City is granted the 50% capacity like every other municipality in New York State.”

New Jersey began allowing eateries to welcome back customers last week with a similar 25% limit on capacity while restaurants upstate and on Long Island have been operating at 50% since June.

The governor has repeatedly railed against City Hall in recent weeks, accusing the mayor and NYPD of not doing enough to enforce measures meant to stem the spread of coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Cuomo said the city will contribute 400 personnel to an existing task force headed by the State Liquor Authority and state police to ensure compliance with the new orders, a deal apparently hammered out not just with Mayor Bill de Blasio, but with other city officials too.

“We have been talking to all stakeholders up until the moment I just walked out,” Cuomo said.