Lindsey Graham, owner of Glamour Salon in Salem, Oregon, has filed a $100,000 lawsuit against Governor Kate Brown, over fines she received for being open during state coronavirus mandated closures and is claiming that forcing small businesses to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic is doing more harm than good.
According to the suit, filed on December 18, Graham claims that shutting down private businesses "…caused greater negative health effects on Oregonians in the form of increased stress, anxiety and depression."
Graham also claims she lost revenue from her clients, business opportunities and suffered "…damage to her reputation and goodwill." Graham also claims that Governor Brown does not have the authority to close private businesses that can demonstrate that they can operate safely without jeopardizing the public's health.
According to KATU2, a local ABC affiliate, on March 23, Governor Brown issued the "Stay Home, Save Lives" order in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, which forced Glamour Salon to shut down. Six weeks later in May, Graham reopened her salon, defying Governor Brown’s orders.
"If we can all get back to work and feed our families, then I'm going to keep doing it," Graham said. "It's my constitutional right to earn a living for my family, and I'm going to do it."
After nearly two months of lockdown, Oregon allowed limited re-openings in May, but counties had to demonstrate a decline in cases of COVID-19 and extensive contact tracing.
A few weeks later, Graham was fined $14,000. She told KATU she was going to push forward and stay open. Graham said at a press conference that the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Public Health Division (OSHA) "…finally decided that my case was closed and decided my disciplinary action is as follows: That I would receive a $14,000 fine for operating a 'hazardous facility for my employees' which I do not have." Graham had said at press conference. "I have independent contractors who are choosing to work at this facility.”
According to Oregon Live, in July, Graham filed a lawsuit against the state of Oregon and Governor Kate Brown claiming they sent OSHA and that they "illegally and improperly" issued her the $14,000 fine. Graham accused the governor and state of violating her civil rights and violating the Constitution by ordering a shutdown of her salon and other businesses in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Graham’s attorney alleged that the government was trying to "make an example" of her. Graham in her lawsuit said that she was suing the state to "…prevent Americans from losing their livelihoods."