Brooklyn law firm in coronavirus hotspot sues Cuomo and de Blasio for forcing it to close

Law firm claims coronavirus orders violate its constitutional rights

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 08 October 2020 21:55 BST
Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered partial shut downs of Brooklyn neighborhoods where coronavirus has surged in recent weeks
Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered partial shut downs of Brooklyn neighborhoods where coronavirus has surged in recent weeks (Getty)

A law firm in Brooklyn is suing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over state-mandated restrictions on Covid-19 hotspots that the claims has forced it to close its doors.  

Turturro Law filed the suit in federal court in Brooklyn on Thursday, according to The Real Deal, a New York real estate news publication.  

The firm is based in a "red zone" as identified by Mr Cuomo. The complaint alleges that Mr Cuomo's designation of zones has violated the firm's constitutional rights, and called the governor's reasoning "confounding."

“It is unconscionable that our office is being forced to close while law offices literally a few blocks away from us continue to operate and generate new business,” said Matthew Turturro, a real estate attorney at the firm.

The complaint claims that none of the employees working at the firm have tested positive for Covid-19, and asserts that forcing the business to close will do nothing to further prevent the spread of the virus.

Turturro Law is not only attempting to prevent any enforcement of "hot zone" shutdowns, but is also seeking damages caused by its closure.  

A spokesman for Mr Cuomo, Richard Azzopardi, seemed unshaken by the law firm's legal challenge.  

"Go ahead. We've gotten sued on virtually every action taken during this pandemic," Mr Azzopardi said. "We're focused on breaking this cluster and saving lives. Being unhappy is better than being sick or dead."  

The latest move by the city has shut down several Brooklyn neighborhoods where positive coronavirus cases surged in recent weeks.  

The closures have prompted push-back from small business owners in the affected areas and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and has sparked protests among many in the area's Orthodox Jewish community.  

Protesting Orthodox Jews burned masks in the streets and massed in Borough Park on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.  

The anti-lockdown, anti-mask protests in the community are lead by Heschy Tischler, a right wing radio host.

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