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Jackson County settles COVID-19 rules lawsuit with church

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jackson County and its health department have settled a lawsuit filed last year by a church over COVID-19 restrictions.

The County Legislature voted Monday to approve a $146,750 settlement with Abundant Life Baptist Church and attorney Jonathan Whitehead. Payment of the settlement will be divided between the county and University Health which runs the county health department.

The lawsuit filed in May 2020 contended the health restrictions discriminated against religion. The church attracts thousands to its services in Blue Springs and Lee's Summit. The church sued after services were grouped with other large gatherings and social events and limited to no more than 10 people.