State Drops Lawsuit, Settles with Flathead Businesses Sued by DPHHS

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) has agreed to drop its lawsuit against five Flathead County businesses and cover the defendants’ legal fees at a cost of more than $94,000, nearly five months after the businesses were accused of ignoring a statewide mask mandate imposed by former Gov. Steve Bullock.

The five businesses — Sykes Diner and Mercantile, Scotty’s Bar and Casino, Remington Bar and Casino, Ferndale Market, and Your Lucky Turn Casino — won a legal victory on Nov. 12 when Judge Dan Wilson denied DPHHS the temporary injunctions it was seeking, ruling the plaintiffs had failed to prove the defendants were not making a “reasonable effort” to force customers and employees to wear masks.