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Dr. Pliura goes to court

Tuesday, Apr 7, 2020

* News-Gazette

Dr. Tom Pliura is seeking a temporary restraining order against Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde in connection with the drive-thru coronavirus testing he’s been trying to arrange in the local community.

A lawsuit was e-filed Monday afternoon in the federal district court in Urbana by Pliura doing business as CampusTown Urgent Care, the urgent care center he operates at 631 E. Green St., C.

The lawsuit seeks to prohibit Pryde — individually and in her capacity as the public health district’s administrator — from stopping Pliura’s plans to offer public COVID-19 testing.

“You can’t stop someone from doing something that’s legal,” Pliura said. […]

Named as another plaintiff in the lawsuit is Steve McLaughlin, identified as a resident of the federal court district who, as of Monday afternoon, didn’t have any COVID-19 symptoms but wanted to know if he has been infected.

Dr. Pliura was telling people late last week that they had to at least claim they had symptoms before he could test them.

* WCIA TV

According to the injunction, Dr. Pliura claimed Pryde and others at CUPHD ‘undertook efforts to prevent Campustown from conducting its drive-through testing, including raising false, contrived and pretextual concerns with officials at the church’ and ‘made baseless accusations concerning the cost of the testing, vague assertions concerning whether unidentified “guidelines” would be followed and asserting that, “first of all, there is just no unfettered access to testing in this country”.’

Pryde said in an interview on April 2 that CDC guidelines state only those who are showing symptoms are supposed to get tested, and she wanted to make sure Dr. Pliura was following those guidelines.

“If people are doing it and they don’t have symptoms, and they’re just testing because they just want to test, and they don’t have any real reason to test… that’s taking resources that could be better used,” said Pryde on April 2.

While the Public Health District can’t shut down a testing site on its own, they can make suggests to anyone looking to provide testing. Dr. Pliura said in the injunction both the district and Pryde did just that after he attempted to make arrangements to hold drive-through testing at several other locations in Champaign-Urbana. According to the injunction, those ‘tentative agreements (were) rescinded after the owners/managers had communications within one or more Defendants who raised various “issues.”.’

* Also from the filing

On or about March 30, 2020, Campustown made arrangements to conduct drive- through/walk-up outdoor testing from the area outside its clinic at 631 E. Green Street, Champaign, IL. Those arrangements included expending great sums of money to buy test collection materials, hiring additional temporary staff, and creating a custom- designed patient registration computer system to allow for pre-registration of testing patients, thereby minimizing direct contact during the collection process. […]

Campustown has expended great sums of money to purchase testing supplies, to create necessary custom software programs to manage high-volume testing, and to advertise the availability of testing services. […]

Under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Plaintiffs Campustown and Pliura have a liberty and property interest in performing their professional business services that cannot be deprived by Defendants without due process. […]

Defendants’ unauthorized and unjustified actions in blocking the testing will not only cause irreparable harm to Campustown’s and Pliura’s professional reputation and prospective business […]

Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits because, and shown above, Defendants have unconstitutionally infringed upon Plaintiffs’ rights, as described above and, with respect to Campustown and Pliura, Defendants have tortuously interfered with Plaintiffs’ prospective business relationship and have painted Plaintiffs in a false light, damaging their professional reputations.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

3 Comments
  1. - DownSouth - Tuesday, Apr 7, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    Perhaps the good doctor should have kept his “wink nod wink” comments to a minimum on social media, and further should have reached out in manner that says “How can I help?” vs “How can I profit”.


  2. - For the Docs - Tuesday, Apr 7, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    The relationship between public health and physicians should be collaborative. This is unfortunate that they could not work it out. Kudos to the docs that want to be part of the solution. We need testing and data. You cannot say that there is no indication for asymptomatic testing but claim asymptomatic spread. Tests can be prioritized. If we don’t test now, we forever lose the snapshot of what’s going on.


  3. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Apr 7, 20 @ 6:33 pm:

    Perhaps the good doctor should have actual tests before claiming he did. Swabs, test tubes, and saline aren’t tests.


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