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Court of Appeals Sides with Gov. Evers & Journal Sentinel Over Release of Business Names

posted on April 6, 2021

Attention MACCI Members,

Please note the update from WMC regarding the legal status related to the release of business names with positive COVID-19 cases.
– Scott Larson, President, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Temporary Injunction Remains in Place While WMC Appeals to the Supreme Court.

Court of Appeals Sides with Gov. Evers & Journal Sentinel Over Release of Business Names with Positive COVID-19 Cases

April 6, 2021 – On Monday evening, the Madison-based Fourth District Court of Appeals sided with Gov. Tony Evers’ Administration, which is seeking to release the names of businesses that have had two or more employees test positive for COVID-19—regardless of where the employees contracted the virus.

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals heard arguments from the state and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel—an intervener in the case. They had appealed the circuit court’s rejection of their motions to dismiss and the granting of WMC’s request for a temporary injunction while the case continues.

In its decision, the Court of Appeals found that WMC did not provide a legally protectable interest that could justify seeking a declaratory judgment that Gov. Evers cannot release the confidential medical information at issue in this case.

However, the temporary injunction remains in place while WMC appeals this decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In a statement on Monday, WMC Executive Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley said:

“We are disappointed with the court’s decision, but thankfully the lower court’s injunction still remains in place and will for the foreseeable future. In other words, the lists will continue to remain confidential while we pursue relief in the Supreme Court, which we will.” Businesses and their employees can be assured the government cannot release this private medical information while WMC appeals.

April 6, 2021 Court of Appeals Decision