Business owners sue Gov. Baker over coronavirus closures

HUBBARDSTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Ten Massachusetts businesses are suing Gov. Charlie Baker, saying he overstepped his authority when he shut them down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was nearly three months before Dawn Desrosiers could re-open her beauty shop in Hubbardston after Baker’s declaration of emergency on March 10, and she said the loss of business was painful.

“It was very rough. I was out doing side jobs, anything to make a dollar,” Desrosiers said.

Desrosiers said the lawsuit was intended to prevent future shutdowns. Attorney Michael Degrandis of the New Civil Liberties Alliance is asking a judge to throw out Baker’s state of emergency declaration and the dozens of executive orders he’s made since.

“Because his underlying reason for issuing his orders is unlawful, his orders themselves are unlawful,” Degrandis said.

A Baker spokesperson said they cannot comment on pending lawsuits.

Degrandis questioned Baker making his orders through the Civil Defense Act, saying that should not be used for public health emergencies. He said local boards should make those decisions.

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