Judge halts contraceptive mandate for Domino’s Farms

December 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm
By Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

The founder of Domino’s Pizza won’t be subject to a new federal healthcare law requiring contraception coverage while a lawsuit he filed challenging the new mandate is pending, a judge has ruled. U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the Eastern District of Michigan on Thursday granted an emergency motion by Tom Monaghan to temporarily halt the enforcement of the federal Health and Human Services mandate.

Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, and the Domino’s Farms Corp., sued the federal government alleging the law violates their rights and has asked the court to strike it down.

“It was the best case scenario for us,” said Erin Mersino of the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center, who is the lead attorney on Monaghan’s case. “It was a favorable opinion, and we are very happy for our clients.”

The lawsuit is among 11 others nationwide challenging the new mandate that became law in August.

Zatkoff’s ruling halts enforcement of the mandate against Monaghan and his company, of which he is the sole owner and shareholder.

Domino’s Farms Corp. manages an office complex owned by Monaghan and is not affiliated with Domino’s Pizza. Monaghan sold the pizza company in 1998.

Temporary restraining orders have been granted by federal judges in eight of the other pending cases, three other requests to halt implementation of the mandate have been denied. None of the cases have been resolved yet, Mersino said.

Monaghan in his Dec. 14 lawsuit says contraception isn’t health care but a “gravely immoral” practice.

Monaghan offers health insurance that excludes contraception and abortion for employees. The new federal law requires employers to offer insurance including contraception coverage or risk fines.

The federal government has said the contraception directive benefits women.

Mersino said the new law would have been effective for Monahan at the beginning of his company’s new plan year, which is Jan. 1.

Mersino added based on the reviewed discovery so far, the court has said there’s a likelihood of success in Monahan’s case based on its merits.


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From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121231/BIZ/212310396#ixzz2Gsp1pP78