A new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on behalf of a group of parents seeks to immediately halt any plans to bring back an indoor mask mandate on school children, claiming that the Los Angeles Department of Public Health “is using erroneous hospitalization metrics,” the Globe reported in July.
“On behalf of @LACountyParents, I filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint against @lapublichealth, Ferrer and Davis. We cannot live like this anymore. If she proceeds with the new mask mandate on Friday, we will immediately seek a TRO,” attorney Julie Hamill announced on Twitter.
Hamill’s lawsuit names defendants:
“COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH; MUNTU DAVIS, in his official capacity as Health Officer for the County of Los Angeles; BARBARA FERRER, in her official capacity as Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.”
In the lawsuit Hamill addresses the July 13, 2022 Town Hall meeting of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brad Spellberg, Chief Executive Officer Jorge Orozco, and Epidemiologist and Infectious Disease Division Service Chief Dr. Paul Holtom of the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center, as the Globe also reported.
“In a news conference on July 13, Brad Spellberg, the chief medical officer of Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, and epidemiologist Paul Holtom, said that there have been no changes in the transmission levels of COVID-19,” the Globe reported.
In her lawsuit, Hamill details the LA County news conference:
During the Town Hall, Los Angeles County’s (“County”) top physicians expressed calm and reassuring observations of a decrease in severity of COVID. Among the statements made by the physicians were the following:
- “[W]e’re just seeing nobody with severe COVID disease.” – Dr. Holtom.
- “[W]e have no one in the hospital who had pulmonary disease due to COVID.Nobody in the hospital.” – Dr. Holtom.
- “[C]ertainly there is no reason from a hospitalization due to COVID perspective,to be worried at this point.” – Dr. Holtom.
- “We’re seeing a lot of people with mild disease in urgent care or ED who gohome and do not get admitted.” – Dr. Spellberg.
- “A lot of people have bad colds, is what we’re seeing.” – Dr. Spellberg.
- “It is just not the same pandemic as it was, despite all the media hype to thecontrary.” – Dr. Spellberg. (Exh. A).
“On that same day, County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she intends to implement a new countywide mask mandate due to the County being in the ‘High’ tier of community COVID risk.”
Hamill further explains her reason for the lawsuit:
“The incongruity between the County’s decision to impose such a dramatic restriction on its residents and the remarks of the LAC+USC physicians explaining the waning risks of COVID and absence of high hospitalization due to COVID demonstrates decision-making by County Public Health that is beyond the bounds of reason, arbitrary, capricious, and entirely lacking in evidentiary support.”
Hamill shared an interesting twist in the case – LA County tried to get the case into federal court – delay tactics.
“The County removed the case to federal court Aug 23, and it was remanded back to state court yesterday [Friday 9/1],” Hamill told the Globe (when a case gets kicked out of federal court and sent back to state court). “This is a win for the Alliance because the County spent time and money trying to get this case up to federal court.”
In a letter to defendants [LA County] attorneys, Hamill explains why this should not be in federal court:
“…children in Los Angeles County are under constant threat of mandates from Defendants, and Defendants regularly change classifications, orders, criteria and benchmarks without prior notice. As the Supreme Court stated in the Roman Catholic Diocese case, there is no reason why petitioner should bear the risk of suffering further irreparable harm in the event of another reclassification. Here, Alliance members should not bear the risk of suffering further irreparable harm in the event of another mandate.”
“All evidence, including admissions by the County’s own physicians, shows that covid is extremely widespread, and is not causing severe disease. Hospitals are not overwhelmed. There is no evidence to support that covid should be treated any differently than the flu, or as Dr. Spellberg says, ‘a very bad cold’ at this point. Covid is endemic.”
“By forcing children to mask, Defendants significantly harm their social and emotional development. Forcing speech delayed children to mask is like forcing those children into isolation.”
And Hamill notes, “our objective is not financial – it is solely to end the harm to children caused by Defendants’ policies.”
Today. Mar Vista (West LA) Rec Center. Cooling Centers open across the city for excessive heat. Kids forced to mask inside playing sports. @MayorOfLA and the Los Angeles City Council should be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/oOuYJ5sW34
— LA Uprising (@UprisingLa) September 3, 2022
Several people commented that the LA Lakers aren’t wearing masks, and never did.
“I have a crazy idea: how about we stop letting geriatric, hypochondriac germaphobes make all the rules for the rest of us,” a prescient woman on Twitter posted Friday.
Hamill said she is in the process of amending the writ and complaint to address the 10-day exposure mandate and to reflect the fact that the County did not impose the universal indoor mask mandate on July 29.
????This is Los Angeles where the temp was around 100F and schoolchildren are wearing cloth masks outside. What are we doing?? pic.twitter.com/b5bpQ9AWVN
— James Lim, MD (@JLimHospMD) September 2, 2022
This is literally a lineup of people responsible for causing irreparable social, emotional, and developmental harm to our children. We have to STOP LISTENING TO THEM. This is why we need accountability. If we don't get that, things will never change. https://t.co/m98CUeVl7l
— Julie Hamill (@hamill_law) September 2, 2022
Fortunately, Julie Hamill is not only a sincere attorney, she has the courage of her convictions and is running for her local school board.
If you're a glutton for punishment and still on facebook, please give me a follow and help me balance out the bs. https://t.co/jhkX4bA5c6
— Julie Hamill (@hamill_law) September 3, 2022
The Globe will continue to report on this lawsuit, which should be precedence setting.
I have a crazy idea: how about we stop letting geriatric, hypochondriac germaphobes make all the rules for the rest of us.
— elizabeth bennett (@ebennett74) September 2, 2022
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