OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Friday, District Court Judge Shelly Stratman officially dismissed the case leveled by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Servicesagainst Douglas County Board of Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse.
The dismissal was without prejudice, a move that was expected after the Omaha City Council votedlast month to ensure that a health director can no longer unilaterally issue a mandate in a public health emergency without prior approval from the state. The new ordinance instead gives more power to elected officials.
The case arose when Huse issued a mask mandate in January as a response to overwhelmed healthcare facilities and hundreds of new COVID-19 cases were popping up every day, documented by the Douglas County Health Department during the omicron variant surge. The mandate drew swift political pushback and a lawsuit was quickly established against Huse and other defendants who were later dropped from the caseincluding the City of Omaha, Omaha Police Department Chief Todd Schmaderer and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, the last of whom was against the mask mandate even before it was formally enacted.
Friday's official dismissal of the lawsuit cancels the one-day civil bench trial scheduled for June 16.