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Arizona bar owners up ante in Ducey lawsuit

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Arizona bar owners have lost money due to an executive order shutting them down. Now they want those lost revenues back.

The 130 bar owners involved in a lawsuit against Governor Doug Ducey have filed a Notice of Claim that they intend to seek $12.5 million in damages as a result of the June 29 order that forced many bars with Series 6 & 7 liquor licenses to shutdown during the Pandemic.

The attorney for the bars, ASU law professor Ilan Wurman, says the notice was the logical next step. He does not however expect the state the settle the case.

Earlier this month, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge denied the bar owners request for a temporary restraining order against Governor Ducey's executive order.

It was the second setback for the plantiffs who had initial sent their complaint right to the Arizona Supreme Court. The high court refused to hear the case, kicking it back down to the lower court.

Bars with a Series 6 liquor licenses pay a premium for the privilege to off-sale alcohol to the public

One new point that has come out of the Notice of Claim is the fact that Ducey is allowing restaurants with Series 12 licenses to conduct off-sale of alcohol which by Arizona law is illegal.

Off-sale allows drinking establishments to sell alcohol to-go. It's a right included exclusively in the application for Series 6 liquor licenses.

Wurman says Ducey giving off-sale rights to restaurants while putting an executive order in place to shut down bars is "economic favoritism".

15 Southern Arizona bars are participating in this lawsuit.

The next round in this battle is a hearing in Superior Court on October 8.

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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