If you're going to sue over state mask rules you need to prove you've been harmed by them first, but Noreen Bechade, owner of an Herbalife-based smoothie shop in Plymouth, failed completely to do that, a federal judge has ruled in tossing her suit against Gov. Baker.
In a decision published last month (Ed. note: Yes, the UHub Coronavirus Legal Desk somehow completely missed this.), US District Court Judge Richard Stearns ruled that Bechade provided no proof that any jack-booted state agents forced her against her will to put on a mask, let alone stormed her shop to make her employees take this one step to protect customers.
She thus has not established that she suffered any concrete and particularized injury with respect to the mask requirement. ... Bechade suggests that the mask requirement personally impacts her because the executive orders “threaten fines if she were to live her life as she wants." ... [H]owever, the Complaint does not allege any instance in which Bechade was forced to wear a mask or was otherwise unable "to live her life as she wants."
Stearns continued that Bechade is no unique snowflake - that the masking rules apply to all Massachusetts residents and that she didn't show how her brave words about how coroonavirus isn't anything a "healthy" person such as herself should worry about make her different:
To the extent Bechade instead means to suggest that her injury is the general threat of fine that she faces for noncompliance with the mask requirement, the Court finds this harm insufficient to establish standing. Every resident of Massachusetts faces this same general threat of enforcement, and Bechade fails to plead any individual desire or intention to violate the mask requirement which might distinguish her from other residents. See Katz, 672 F.3d at 71. She thus has not shown that such a threat is concrete and particularized to her or actual or imminent.
In a footnote, Stearns writes things might be different had Bechade been able to provide examples:
The court does not express any opinion as to whether an allegation that Bechade was personally forced to wear a mask or to require her employees to wear a mask would suffice to establish an injury in fact for standing purposes. It merely concludes that, under these circumstances, Bechade has not shown that she suffered a concrete and particularized injury absent such an allegation.