The city of Pittsburgh is seeking damages for a lawsuit it filed last year alleging the dancers at the Dancers of Pittsburgh, a club owned by the city, were not wearing face masks.
The suit alleges dancers were harassed by police and that the city didn’t provide adequate protection for them, according to court records.
A city council committee voted to dismiss the case in August, citing a lack of evidence.
The city has since taken steps to try to repair the damage, including hiring a consultant who will analyze the damages to determine the cost.
The Associated Press previously reported that the dancers were given masks to wear and that city officials made it clear they didn’t want them to wear masks.
In a statement, the city said the suit was “simply not true.”
The city said it was seeking damages in an amount that would cover the cost of the lawyers’ fees.
The case was filed in February by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia-based advocacy group representing the dancers, and the American Dancers Association, the dancers’ union.
The ACLU says the dancers in the suit suffered serious injuries.
The lawsuit alleges the city violated the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act, a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information.
The law prohibits discrimination based on age, veteran and disability status, and sex, according the ACLU.
A spokesperson for the city’s Office of Community Engagement and Safety declined to comment.
“The City of Pittsburgh will vigorously defend itself in this case and will take appropriate action to protect the safety and health of our dancers,” the spokesperson said.
The Pittsburgh city council has not yet decided whether to dismiss or to take any further action in the case.
The dancers filed the lawsuit in February, arguing that police used excessive force, and that police officers violated their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly.
Police have also been cited in other cases.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges in the last case because there was insufficient evidence to prove police brutality.
A federal judge dismissed the case after a preliminary injunction hearing last summer.
The judge wrote that the case was a civil rights matter and therefore the district attorney did not have to prove any of the elements to pursue charges.