The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has sued Carlisle Events to stop the spring swap meet already under way because it violates the plan for gradual reopening of events, which for the moment limits gatherings to 250 people. Carlisle in the past has attracted at least 1500 vendors, and much larger crowds of more than 200,000. (AutoInformed – Hershey Swap Meet Cancelled! )
Carlisle Events says it will fight the lawsuit. The swap meet is scheduled to continue through this weekend and has been postponed from its original April date to May, which was then postponed to June. A hearing yesterday resulted in another hearing on Friday.
The complaint says: “SARS-CoV-2, which causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a highly contagious virus that is a serious threat to public health and that has impacted every part of the globe.
“Pennsylvania has seen a similar unprecedented burden of COVID-19 and has taken equally unprecedented measures to save lives and reduce the number of deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus. This response has included Orders issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health that, inter alia, limit the size of public gatherings to reduce the spread of this virus. And these efforts are succeeding. This decision to respond aggressively has proven to be an essential and effective measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19”…
Carlisle Events appears to be in a tenuous legal position since it asked for a waiver on June 9, 2020, according to the suit. Then never filed a response to inquiries about how guidelines would be followed.
“Respondent inquired to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (“DCED”) about a waiver which would have permitted Spring Carlisle to exceed the 250-person limit and permit a crowd of approximately 100,000 people to attend this gathering.
“DCED informed Respondent that it must follow all green phase guidance issued by the Department of Health, including the limit of no gatherings larger than 250 people at a time…. which would have permitted Spring Carlisle to exceed the 250-person limit and permit a crowd of approximately 100,000 people to attend this gathering,” the suit says.