By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A new legal battle could impact the future of mall reopening plans in Los Angeles County in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A federal lawsuit, filed by the owner of the Westfield chain of malls, is challenging a public health order that keeps malls closed, despite state guidelines that allow them to reopen at reduced capacity.

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In the suit, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield alleges that the local order inflicts undue hardship on thousands of Angelenos whose livelihoods depends on operating their businesses within enclosed malls.

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URW further alleges that the decision is arbitrary and not supported by health data.

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Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has not yet commented on the suit.