About 60 touristic entrepreneurs affiliated with the Open Tourist Organisation filed a class action lawsuit at the District Court in Warsaw for recognition of their claims against the State Treasury. The reason for their action is their belief the government violated the constitution by issuing some of the lockdown provisions that had a negative impact on their businesses.
“Our civil rights were violated”, explains the president of OTO, Alina Dybaś-Grabowska. “The government introduced regulations restricting our freedom to conduct business and by doing so violated the constitution” she stated.
The organisation argues that the adequate decisions to call the state of emergency were not taken and therefore the shutdown was illegal.
The entrepreneurs' conviction that they are right was strengthened by the recent (of October 27, but its justification was released only recently) judgment of the Provincial Administrative Court in Opole, which ruled that they cannot be punished for omitting the law issued in violation of the constitution. The court heard the case of a hairdresser who had a client shaved in his shop on April 22, despite a ban on the provision of such services, introduced three days earlier by a government regulation.
Among the companies that want to fight for compensation are, Funclub (Poznań), Premio Travel (Warsaw) and CC Travel (Ryki) travel agencies, Traveliada.pl and Tour Retour (Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski) travel agencies, Columbus Trans and Margo Trans coach companies (Wrocław) and the Piwowar hotel.
Similar situations have occured around Europe, such as a group of Leicester-based businesses which sued their local authorities over lockdown ‘mishandling’ or when UK based businessman Simon Dolan wanted to issue proceedings for judicial review of some anti-COVID provisions to help his company.