'We accept the fact that people are going to die if we open up' - St. Louis-area attorney


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A lawsuit has been filed against St. Louis City and St. Louis County over stay-at-home orders.

Attorney Bevis Schock is representing a gym in Manchester, Mo., and an antique shop on Cherokee Street in the city. Schock is asking the federal court for a temporary restraining order that would lift the stay-at-home orders until the case can be argued. 

Schock contends there's a statute that during a health crisis, the city and county can make rules for public safety, but "they cannot be inconsistent with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Department of Health and Senior Services." 

"I'm willing to stand up and say we accept the fact that more people are going to die if we open up. Which I'm not even sure that's true."- Attorney Beavis Schock, who filed a lawsuit against St. Louis City & County on behalf of businesses: https://t.co/G3ykJmW0SH pic.twitter.com/qWkJMYsKCq

— KMOX St. Louis News (@kmoxnews) May 5, 2020

That double negative is critical in the interpretation, Amy Marxkors pointed out to Schock during The Charlie Brennan Show with Amy Marxkors Tuesday.

Schock explained, "What we're doing, Charlie, is we're burning our house down.  We're intentionally burning down our economy.  I don't think that's good even if it's going to cause some deaths.  What about the people who have worked their entire lives to start a business, to have savings, the people who work in these places they're going to be riots in the street pretty soon.  Death is part of the story of what's happening.  There has to be some kind of balancing.  Now, let me point out, in my lawsuit, I'm not in the balancing game.  I'm not in the science game.  I'm in the follow the law game.  That's it.  That's my only job in this case.  I have my opinions.  You've asked me about them, but I'm willing to stand up and say we accept the fact that more people are going to die if we open up.  Which, I'm not even sure that's true.  But let's assume it's true.  I still think it's ok to open up." 

Judge Stephen Clark is scheduled to hear the case Wednesday afternoon.  The city and county have until Tuesday evening to file their response.

The lawsuit argues that only the state health department has the authority to tell businesses you're not essential and keep them from opening. The state lifted its stay-at-home order on Monday.  

KMOX's previous reporting:

A spokesman for Mayor Krewson says the city does have statutory authority to enact its own stay-at-home order, saying “these decisions are not fun or easy, but lives come first.”

KMOX is awaiting a response from St. Louis County.

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