An attorney for the city of Orlando claimed Thursday that sovereign immunity protects the city from a doctor suing to open a practice near downtown where he would perform abortions.
In a written answer to Dr. James Pendergraft’s federal lawsuit, attorney Jeffrey Slater said the city and its workers enjoy protection from suits when engaged in government functions.
Slater also said the doctor has not exhausted administrative appeals to settle the matter and should not be allowed to collect money for lost income and expenses because the city has not acted maliciously.
Pendergraft’s spokeswoman, Marti Mackenzie, said the city is negligent because it has let an abortion opponent sway its policies.
Pendergraft is seeking a temporary restraining order to force Orlando to let him do business at 1103 Lucerne Terrace. A hearing is set Thursday in U.S. District Court.