Kings Island and a handful of other amusement parks are suing Dr. Amy Acton over Ohio’s lockdown orders.
Fed up with lockdown orders that have prevented it from operating during what is normally the start of its busy season, Kings Island, an amusement park in Cincinnati, recently decided to sue Dr. Amy Acton. In filing the suit, the popular amusement park is demanding “they be immediately allowed to open despite a current order keeping it closed to stop the spread of coronavirus.” The suit was filed in the Warren County Court of Common Pleas and names Acton, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, and the Warren County Health District as defendants.
Why did the park decide to file the suit, though? For starters, the lawsuit claims the “order keeping it and similar facilities closed is unconstitutional.” Additionally, the suit accuses Acton as “one unelected individual within the bureaucracy who has continuously overinflated the risk of harm to the general public.” It further states:
“Plaintiffs remain entitled to due process, equal protection, and a government that abides by the doctrine of separation of powers with the attendant checks and balances. Plaintiffs (as well as many others) face an imminent risk of criminal prosecution and extensive daily fines, and/or the decimation of their businesses, livelihoods, and economic security, as well as continued irreparable harm to their rights.”
So far, Governor Mike DeWine (R) has continuously tried to shield Acton from criticism throughout this whole COVID-19 fiasco “by noting that he nominated her to be health director and is the one who signs off on all COVID-19-related orders.” He also added that many different entertainment parks will be permitted to open in the next week or so. However, amusement parks like Kings Island were not included in that list.
The owner of Kings Island, Cedar Fair, recently announced support for House Bill 665, “which besides addressing amusement ride safety would also allow all such parks to reopen immediately.” According to the company, which also happens to own Cedar Point, “it can operate both parks safely and with proper social distancing guidelines in place.” A statement from Cedar Fair further reads:
“Cedar Fair fully supports the amendment to HB 665 that was adopted today in the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. The amendment provides for the immediate re-opening of Ohio amusement parks and water parks. We fully anticipate and expect having the same opportunity granted to other businesses in Ohio to operate our business in a safe and manageable environment…As professional amusement park operators with an exemplary safety record, we are experts at managing risks and following protocols. The protocols we have developed to reopen our parks are in accordance with governmental and CDC directives, Erie County and Warren County Health Departments, medical professionals, Ohio’s Development Services Agency (DSA), and industry best practices. They are specifically responsive to the COVID-19 crisis…Our capacity-controlled, family-friendly properties at Cedar Point and Kings Island, coupled with the operational expertise of our seasoned park professionals who work there, provides for an environment where predictable observance and enforcement of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols can be achieved…This legislation not only benefits Cedar Point, Kings Island, and their guests but also the economic viability of the local citizenry and surrounding Ohio communities…We look forward to welcoming back our loyal guests to Ohio’s treasured amusement parks, which have brought fun and happiness to generations of families.”