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Florida-CDC cruise mediation fails, CDC gets more time to answer original complaint

According to an attorney familiar with the case, the July 1 extension for CDC to respond to the original complaint does not affect whether Florida's request for preliminary injunction will be issued
Talks to reach a settlement in Florida's lawsuit challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's cruise shutdown were unsuccessful.

Despite their 'good faith and concerted efforts, the settlement discussions have concluded and the parties have reached an impasse,' US Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli, the court-appointed mediator, said in a filing.

US District Judge Stephen Merryday ordered Florida and the CDC to mediate in May. During a hearing last week, he chided Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's office for earlier declaring an impasse, which only the mediator has the authority to do.

More time for CDC to respond to the original complaint

Merryday also gave the federal attorneys more time — until July 1 — to respond to the original complaint, and Florida did not oppose their request for a two-week extension.

The CDC's attorneys argued they had 'already expended a substantial amount of time and resources responding to plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, participating in court-ordered mediation sessions and responding to intervention motions filed by the states of Alaska and Texas, as well as other ancillary matters.'

They added: 'Substantial activity has occurred in this case between the time that plaintiff filed the complaint (April 8) and June 14, 2021, and defendants need a short extension of time in order to complete the response, particularly in light of the press of other business.'

Extension doesn't affect motion for preliminary injunction

Last week Merryday indicated he may be issuing a ruling soon in Florida's motion for a preliminary injunction.

An attorney familiar with the case told Seatrade Cruise News the July 1 extension for CDC does not affect whether a temporary injunction will be issued because Florida's request is to end the CDC conditional sailing order now, pending a final decision in the case.