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Outbreak at JOEY Restaurants in Calgary leads to $17M lawsuit

CALGARY (CityNews) — More trouble for the JOEY restaurant chain.

A Calgary law firm has filed a $17 million class-action lawsuit in connection to a COVID-19 outbreak at JOEY Eau Claire — while JOEY Crowfoot opened new, outdoor dining options which may also be problematic.

“You need to do the right thing, you need to be fair, you need to make sure you’re doing what is reasonable to make sure that people aren’t getting sick,” said Matthew Farrell, a barrister and solicitor with Guardian Law Group.

The lawsuit against JOEY Restaurants Canada alleges patrons became sick because employees failed to adequately ensure safety protocols were followed to protect customers at the JOEY Eau Claire location in March.

READ MORE: Patrons explore legal options after getting COVID-19 at Calgary restaurant

“What is being alleged is that JOEY did not do enough to make sure that the people in the restaurant were reasonably safe and as a result, a lot of people got sick who didn’t need to get sick,” said Farrell.

Those allegations haven’t been proven in court.

As for JOEY Crowfoot, now providing new dining options that include a tent being used as a patio, the short answer from Alberta Health on if it’s allowed is: it depends.

They say patio and dining facilities must follow these specific guidelines to be considered as such:

  • If the patio or facility has a roof, it cannot have more than 1 enclosing wall.
  • The facility or patio can have more than 1 enclosing wall if it does not have a roof.
  • Umbrellas and pergolas are not considered to be roofs. Fences and half-walls are not counted as walls.

 

While it appears to be following those rules, the tent still requires a permit from the city which according to a statement sent to CityNews by the city, JOEY does not have.

CityNews reached out to JOEY for comment, but have yet to hear back.