Sussex County, NJ, gym owner loses suit over Murphy mandates
A former gym owner has lost her lawsuit against Gov. Phil Murphy and his pandemic restrictions.
Darlene Pallay was seeking compensation from New Jersey for her pandemic losses. She sued the Murphy administration claiming when Murphy issued Executive Orders 103, 104 and 107, invoking the Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act, he essentially took control of businesses that were ordered closed. But in doing so, he violated the same law for not implementing the compensation program mandated by the act.
A lower court rejected that lawsuit, and now a state appeals court has upheld that ruling.
It is undisputed that these limitations constituted valid exercises of the State’s police powers in the context of a public health emergency, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 - appellate judge Garry Rothstadt
Pallay had operated a CKO Kickboxing franchise in Franklin, Sussex County. Unable to operate her business under pandemic restrictions, she fell behind in her rent and was facing eviction. She closed her gym in October of 2020.
The appeals court rejected Pallay's argument that pandemic restrictions "took control" of her business. It was, the court wrote, akin to "regulation," and therefore she was entitled to no compensation.
Palley told NJ.com she was disappointed in the decision, but plans to appeal the matter to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
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