BRENTWOOD, Pa. (KDKA) — A Brentwood breakfast spot will now battle the Allegheny County Health Department in federal court.
“I really believe the government is relying on businesses to enforce what they cannot,” said Kimberly Waigand, the owner of The Crack’d Egg.
Inspectors tried to shut The Crack’d Egg down on Aug. 11, sending a letter that reads “an inspection of your facility on 8/11/2020 indicates an imminent hazard to the public health.” The letter said “your health permit is suspended” and “failure to close will result in immediate initiation of an enforcement action.”
An attached inspector report cited “failure to comply with mask or facial covering guidelines.”
Waigand told KDKA that she closed down for the required week but then decided to reopen and is still not requiring employees or patrons to wear masks.
The menu reads “We do not violate our guests (sic) rights, masks at not required.”
“I feel I’m doing the right thing,” she told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller.
The Allegheny County Health Department disagrees, saying it received 16 complaints about people allegedly not wearing masks and not social distancing.
“I don’t refuse service to anyone to violate their rights to come in here without a mask. I don’t know if they have a health problem, if they have anxiety,” said Waigand.
Waigand told KDKA that she’s receiving support from beyond the South Hills.
“I’ve had people come from York, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, West Virginia, Ohio — just to support us,” Waigand said.
“We filed a lawsuit in federal court for a violation of our client’s civil rights,” said Dennis Blackwell, attorney.
Attorneys Blackwell and Sy Lampl told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller that they believe they have a strong case.
“They’re not disrespecting individuals,” said Lampl. “They’re giving them the option to come in or not come in, but they’re simply not complying with an unconstitutional order.”
Waigand told KDKA that she wants to give courage to other small business owners.
“I’m fighting for everyone and all the other restaurants that can’t or won’t stand up for it,” she said.
The Allegheny County Health Department will now have time to respond to the federal lawsuit. The county does not comment on pending litigation.