LAWSUIT: Roswell business owner sues the state for revenue lost during the pandemic

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Many businesses are struggling during the pandemic. One New Mexico man says he’s especially feeling it, because all four of his businesses are in the hospitality industry.

The man’s attorney says they are suing the governor and this could be the first of many lawsuits of this kind. Attorney Blair Dunn says his client, Madux Hobbs, is the owner of two restaurants, a catering business, and a couple of vacation rental properties in Roswell.

Dunn says all four of Hobbs’ businesses have suffered over the past few months because of the governor’s public health restrictions. Dunn says the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors has discouraged travelers from coming to New Mexico, slowing down business for Hobbs’ vacation rental properties.

“It’s hard to go some place when you can’t really get out to eat much, you can’t do much when you’re out and about. Everything’s closed down,” says Dunn.

That’s why Hobbs is suing the state, including Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel. In the lawsuit, Hobbs claims if the government is going to shut down his businesses, then they should be paying him for all the revenue he has lost during this time.

Dunn did say Hobbs filed for small business loans, but that only covered rent and wages for his employees. Hobbs relies on the revenue from his businesses to support his family.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the governor’s office for comment, but haven’t heard back. When she was asked about her decision to restrict indoor dining again, earlier this month, the governor acknowledged restaurants are not at fault, but she said the restrictions are necessary to save the lives of New Mexicans.

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