A New York judge threw out a woman’s personal injury lawsuit set for trial on Thursday after her lawyer refused to put a face mask on, New York Daily News reports. Howard Greenwald told the judge he had a hard time breathing in the mask. “I want the record to reflect that I am speaking with great difficulty... I am sweating profusely from the effort,” the lawyer said. He added, “I don’t contest the rule... I just am not physically able to comply with the rule to do my job as a lawyer.”
Brooklyn Judge Lawrence Knipel told Greenwald he needed to follow the mask mandate set in all court buildings. Knipel said he was hospitalized with COVID-19 last year. “We have over half a million dead in this country. We have protocols. The most important protocol is wearing a mask,” he said. The woman’s suit was for an injury she received in a car crash in 2017. Despite tossing the case, Knipel said she could still pursue litigation.