The decision came just a week after the California Restaurant Association’s initial request to block the measure until evidence was provided that showed outdoor dining at restaurants posed a risk to the public was denied.
“We were successful in Los Angeles Superior Court today, where the judge agreed that LA County must show cause for its order to ban outdoor dining,” the California Restaurant Association tweeted on Wednesday.
The CRA has fought hard against the measure since it was enacted on Nov. 25, limiting bars and restaurants to take-out, drive-through and delivery services only.
The group had accused Los Angeles County of relying on a “questionable national study” rather than local data to determine that establishments — which are already reeling from the pandemic — should be shut down again, according to a video posted on YouTube.
However, during a board of supervisors meeting a health official said restaurant-specific data was scarce and that a CDC study targeting 11 different outpatient health care facilities in 10 states was the “best information we have.” The study found that those patients with COVID-19 were twice as likely to have dined out at a restaurant.
Still, CRA president and CEO Jot Condie said the “order was arbitrary and targeted restaurants unfairly, without supporting evidence.”
Last week, the association filed a request in Los Angeles Superior Court, demanding that the county of Los Angeles Department of Health provide “supporting medical and/or scientific studies and evidence that the operation of outdoor dining establishments poses an unreasonable risk” to the public.
The Superior Court judge who rejected CRA’s request to halt the three-week ban had said he would reconsider hearings on the matter if restaurateurs provided new evidence, according to the Los Angeles Times.
However, the Wednesday ruling doesn’t mean that outdoor dining can immediately resume due to the fact that the county has been placed under a safer-at-home order.
“It’s our expectation that if the county is unable to produce evidence justifying this decision, then outdoor dining should be allowed to resume as soon as the stay-at-home order is lifted,” Condie said.
Author : Daniella Genovese