I can’t imagine there not being a dumb lawsuit over this at some point, because that’s generally what happens when dumb people like Phillip Dupaul do dumb things and then have to face the possibility of perhaps facing the music.
Dupaul is one of those guys who won’t wear a mask because the pandemic is exaggerated and because they hinder his ability to breathe. Funny how all these can’t breathe people seem to be the it’s no big deal people, isn’t it?
Anyway, he hasn’t worn a mask pretty much ever, according to him, and he wasn’t about to start even when called for jury duty. That was a problem for judge John Larson, who asked Dupaul to please wear a mask in court because those are the rules for everyone. Dupaul said no, so Larson offered him the chance to wear a face shield instead. Again, Dupaul refused. Allrighty, said Larson, perhaps being found in contempt of court is more your jam. So that’s what happened, and Dupaul was carted off to the neighbourhood holding tank to reconsider his position for the next 24 hours.
And this is where things really get interesting.
Around the same time as Phil the libertarian was headed to the can in the name of freedom, that very can was discovering that it was in the midst of a fairly sizable outbreak of exaggeration. 55 cases of it, according to the Sheriff. And now Dupaul is worried, but not enough to do anything radical like change his stance on masks or gasp, take responsibility for his actions.
“As far as the deputies, they were very professional with me,” Dupaul said. “They were simply following procedure of what they were supposed to do. … But they put me in a position where I could be infected, and that’s wrong. They could have left me in the booking area, and I would have sat out my sentence there. But to put me into a Petri dish — that’s what it was, a Petri dish of active COVID cases, that was negligent — that was wrong.”
Dupaul refutes any personal responsibility. He said he hasn’t worn a mask since the beginning of the pandemic, but said he’s kept his distance from high-risk people since COVID-19 hit Montana. He also does not have a specific medical condition that would warrant exemption from the mask mandate, he told the Missoulian, but does feel that the mask hinders his breathing.
“I think that’s enough of a circumstance,” he said.
If he does file suit, he will have one factor working in his favour. When he was tossed in the clink, he was put in general population rather than being isolated. He doesn’t have much right to care about that personally, but the courts may.
Juror refuses mask, jailed in virus outbreak