LANSING, Mich. — Royal Scot Golf and Bowl Center is one of four bowling alleys suing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services over revenues lost when the state forced businesses to close in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The lawsuit was filed last week, and will be the second one that Whitmer has had to deal with that involved Michigan bowling alleys.
“The first one, the Supreme Court deemed to be illegal,” said Executive Director of the Michigan Independent Bowling and Entertainment Centers Association Scott Bennett. “The Supreme Court voted 7 to 0.”
The current lawsuit, filed by Royal Scot in Watertown Township, Spartan West Bowling Center near Ludington, Fremont Lanes near Fremont and Spectrum Lanes in Wyoming, along with Roll Haven Skating Center in Flint, is seeking compensation for months of closure since March.
“Both the federal and the Michigan constitutions have what’s called a takings clause, where if the government takes property for a public use, they then have to provide fair compensation,” said attorney David Kallman.
The 13-page legal complaint notes the revenues that each of the five businesses might have earned if they hadn't been forced to close.
It says Royal Scot had revenues of $4.4 million annually in previous years.
With the closure, and with the suspension of Royal Scot's liquor licenses and other permits in December for illegal operation, its profit have fallen.
“You’ve got ongoing taxes, you’ve got ongoing utility bills,” Bennett said. “Just because the business is closed ,doesn’t mean the bills stop.”
FOX 47 reached out to Whitmer's office for a statement, but have not not heard anything back.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released this statement saying it had "put in place measures that will save lives by limiting specific indoor gatherings that greatly increase the risk of COVID-19 spread. Public health experts from around the nation and world say these types of actions prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.”
Kallman said all the businesses combined hope to get at least at seven-figure settlement from the lawsuit.