Lawsuit filed by Knoxville doctors against Knox County Board of Health over mask mandate

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A lawsuit has been filed against the Knox County Board of Health asking for a judicial review of the mask mandate passed on July 1.

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.

During the July 29 meeting, the Knox County Board of Health voted to hold an executive session on Monday, Aug. 3 to discuss the lawsuit. The initial motion was made by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, who told the board, “The Board of Health of Knox County is being sued, so I’m calling an executive session for Monday, Aug. 3 at 5 p.m.”

“I believe before this board can take any action, we need that meeting to take place,” Jacobs said.

The board of health’s executive session will be closed to the public.

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