As expected, Giant Eagle filed a motion to dismiss ADA claims made by several individuals that attempted to maskless shop at their stores. It is an interesting if not entertaining read.
Despite these defects on the face of their Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs contend that the ADA gives anyone claiming a disability a pass to ignore Giant Eagle’s Policy. Their theory echoes a debunked Internet scheme, which claims that individuals who are ideologically opposed to wearing masks can misuse the ADA to further their agenda. The United States Department of Justice, responsible for enforcing portions of the ADA, denounced the scheme as fraudulent. 1 But whether they have an ideological agenda, a legitimate disability or both, Plaintiffs’ lawsuit against Giant Eagle has no merit. It should be dismissed.Case 2:20-cv-00754-NBF Document 34 Filed 09/02/20
Third, the issue is not, as Plaintiffs contend, whether Giant Eagle can require individuals with a disability to wear a face covering. Opp. at 8. Giant Eagle does not seek to do that. The issue is whether Giant Eagle can require anyone entering its stores to wear a face covering. It can. Contrary to Plaintiffs’ assertions, no government entity currently mandates, or even recommends, that businesses allow customers to enter their stores without wearing a face covering. The CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health merely advise that anyone who cannot wear a face mask because of a medical condition should not wear one. That is far from a recommendation that people should circulate in public places without a face covering. See, e.g., Pa. Dept. of Health Universal Face Coverings Order FAQ, 7/3/2020 (ECF 34-2), pg. 7 (“The wearing of face coverings, such as a mask, ensures that we as a society can limit the spread of COVID-19 and successfully combat this pandemic; therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest that all Pennsylvanians comply with this order.” (emphasis in original)).Case 2:20-cv-00754-NBF Document 39 Filed 09/16/20