Mayor Bill de Blasio Public Health Crisis

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Lawsuit Expected Next Week To Challenge Mayor’s Measles Order

April 12, 2019 - 7:27 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A lawsuit is expected to be filed next week, challenging the city's mandatory vaccination order in Williamsburg.

Civil rights attorney Michael Sussman says the question is whether or not the city has the authority to have issued an order which he describes as “radically affecting” the public.

"New York State public health law and regulations provide very specific measures to dealing with outbreaks of contagious diseases,” Sussman notes. “Those include quarantining the affected population directly, those who were sick and those who might have had intimate association or close contact with them. What's happened in both Rockland and New York City is that primary measure has not been taken.”

Related: Eight Unvaccinated Children Diagnosed With Measles In Westchester

Sussman says you have to do those things first before you can claim you can't control something.

He says neither Rockland County nor Brooklyn took proper action. Rather, broad, dramatic edicts were issued, which he says “significantly restrict human freedom in an impermissible way.”

RELATED: Mayor Says Measles Order Will Survive Any Legal Action: ‘We Will Beat Them’

Sussman announced Wednesday that he is planning a lawsuit on behalf of opponents to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order requiring residents of Williamsburg to receive mandatory measles vaccinations.

Since September, the city said more than 250 measles cases have been confirmed in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Members of the city's Health Department will check the vaccination records of any individual who may have been in contact with infected patients.

Those who have not received the vaccine or do not have evidence of immunity may be given a violation and could be fined $1,000.

Related: Rockland Plans To Fight Judge’s Decision To Block Measles Emergency Order

Sussman also represented a group of parents in Rockland County who recently challenged County Executive Ed Day's order, which barred all unvaccinated minors from public spaces.

The parents of several dozen unvaccinated children won their case when a state judge issued a preliminary injunction against the emergency order that originally was supposed to last for 30 days.