KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The attorney representing two Knoxville doctors in a complaint against the Knox County Board of Health, is asking for a judicial review of the mask mandate passed on July 1 and accountability with more public oversight.

The lawsuit was filed July 24 by counsel representing Knoxville physicians Steven J. Smith and Jason J. Hall. Both are board-certified plastic surgeons.

The lawsuit claims the Board of Health’s adoption and ratification of the mask regulation “relied on faulty and data in support of its adoption.” The lawsuit also claims the doctors’ rights were “directly violated” by the regulation under the Tennessee constitution.

“Ensuring that we as citizens also are a check and balance to government, which is why, again, we’re arguing the arbitrary and capricious standard under an administrative law approach,” said attorney Daniel Herrera.

Herrera said the plaintiffs in this case represent Knox County citizens and that the results of the lawsuit impact the county.

Daniel Herrera speaks to WATE 6 On Your Side Reporter Madisen Keavy via Zoom.

“Essentially, we’re saying, is that the data was not correct. The Knox County relied on false positive data. And at the end, they cannot really justify the reasoning for this massive mandate under the data that they’ve presented or argue that isn’t supportive of it,” said Herrera.

As for the local effectiveness of the mask order, speaking during a weekly update Friday Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan said the Health Department continues to watch the data for changes.

“Locally what we’ll be looking at is transmission rates to be honest. Seeing those transmission rates go down, seeing fewer cases, because people are wearing masks will tell us that mask wearing is effective,” said Buchanan.

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