Benton County Judge Rules Lawsuit Against Arlene’s Flowers Can Proceed
Attorneys for Arlene's Flower were unsuccessful in getting at least part of a lawsuit dropped that was filed against the shop by the ACLU and the Washington state attorney general.
Earlier this week, Superior Court Judge Sal Mendoza ruled the suit can continue. Owner Baronelle Stutzman's attorneys had argued that the Consumer Protection Act, under which the couple had sued, only applies to certain criteria. According to the Tacoma News-Tribune:
'Attorneys for Stutzman and her shop argued the CPA claim doesn't hold up because private consumers must show financial injury to their business or property, and the couple didn't do that." (bold lettering added for emphasis).
However, in an unusual ruling, one that is not widely or routinely utilized, Mendoza said the suit could continue because he counted the couples' "wasted travel and time" as part of the damages. He did say showing injury to business or property is required, but travel and time count as well.
JD Bristol, one of Stutzman's attorneys, dropped a great line about the ruling:
the order confirms that 'aside from politics, we're going to trial over $5 or $10 of gas.'"