A federal lawsuit filed by Golden Glow against the city of Columbus over its 2020 COVID-19 shutdown has been dismissed, but the salon has appealed.
The Golden Glow tanning salon filed a complaint in the Northern District of Mississippi in May 2020. City shutdown the order forced it – among many other businesses – to shut down from 5 p.m. on March 21, 2020 until May 9, 2020, in a bid to slow the initial spread of the virus.
The lawsuit, filed by Tupelo attorney Jim Waide, argued that it was unfair for the salon to close while “churches, liquor stores and large retailers” remained open, and the city illegally deprived the living room of income while it was closed.
Waide also argued that the tanning salon was unfairly singled out. A list of essential and non-essential businesses released by Governor Tate Reeves did not specify that tanning salons fell into either category. The city of Columbus, however, clarified that they were not essential.
Judge Glen Davidson dismissed the show’s November 9 lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be re-filed.
Davidson discovered that the salon was “speculating” on lost profits, but could not definitively prove the loss.
“There is no guarantee that (Golden Glow) would have generated income during a pandemic at a time when all people-to-people contact was considered risky,” he wrote.
Davidson goes on to note that the shutdown “was a temporary measure designed to promote the common good and protect the public from deadly disease” and that such orders were “consistent with previous actions deemed constitutional.”
The city has “articulated good reasons” for viewing tanning salons as places that spread the virus, Davidson said.
Churches, liquor stores and large retailers “do not present the same health and safety concerns” as a salon, as well as “provide goods and services which have been deemed essential to the public life of a way that “artificial tanning services” are not. “
Waide told the Dispatch he had appealed the decision.
“District courts have dismissed similar cases, but there has been no appeal court ruling on the legality of the closure orders,” he said. “The appellate courts have always said the matter was moot because the orders were lifted by the time the cases came to them, but it is not moot because we brought an action for damages. .
“We think we have a good chance on appeal,” he said.
City attorney Jeff Turnage said he was happy with Davidson’s decision.
“We are happy with the decision and believe the judge did the right thing,” he said. âIt’s a well-reasoned decision and I think (Golden Glow) has an uphill battle on appeal. There is no fundamental right to get an artificial tan.