Face mask lawsuits target the vulnerable

Lawsuits were filed against Johnson County and Morris County for mandating face masks in schools. Both suits affect students who are too young to get vaccinated against COVID.



September 7, 2021 - 10:06 AM


On Friday, Johnson County and Morris County officials were sued for requiring students to wear face masks to guard against COVID-19.

Of note is that the lawsuit naming Kansas City’s Blue Valley district is directed at students from kindergarten up through sixth grade, and in Morris County’s Council Grove, all students age 5 and older.

Both suits affect students who are too young to get vaccinated against COVID. Today, these youths are the  largest group unprotected from the virus, with a vaccine for those 12 and younger not expected until 2022.

Also of note is that the attorney representing the plaintiffs is Ryan Kriegshauser of Wichita, the ambulance-chaser of COVID-19 lawsuits. In 2020, Kriegshauser represented Omega Bootcamps, a fitness chain, saying Kansas owed the conglomerate in excess of $450 million because of lost business caused by the pandemic.

Kriegshauser also worked with Republican legislators in crafting Senate Bill 273 which would have required local and county governments to divert 25% to 35% of their federal pandemic relief funds to recompense Omega Bootcamps and the like who were financially harmed by the pandemic. The bill could have diverted as much as $500 million from local and county governments.

Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the measure, saying funds from the American Rescue Plan Act could not be used in such a manner.

Supporters of the legislation lacked the two-thirds majority in both chambers necessary to override her decision.

That Morris and Johnson counties — and surely more to come — now have to defend themselves in court against passing life-saving measures is a travesty.

Simply put, COVID can kill. And this delta variant is particularly contagious and virulent. 

Kriegshauser’s argument also is specious.

“Neither of these lawsuits say that you can’t have mask mandates,” he is quoted in a recent Associated Press article. “It is just saying that you need to come back and revisit them within a decent period of time and you need to have adequate exemptions.”

These aren’t lawsuits, it’s grandstanding and judges should them toss them out posthaste.

— Susan Lynn