Matthew Drake’s complaint claims he was injured outside the Erie Street business the evening of July 23, 2016.
According to the suit, filed Sept. 25 in Lake County Common Pleas Court by attorney E. Tasso Paris:
• Drake was at the bar on a Saturday night while the live band Tricky Dick played to a capacity crowd.
“The Defendant … failed to provide any security at its main entrance, thereby permitting a large altercation to go uninterrupted, endangering any and all patrons who had to come into its vicinity,” Paris stated in the lawsuit. “… As a result of Defendant’s negligence, … Plaintiff was violently struck by an individual permitted to engage in unabated criminal conduct on Defendant’s property.”
• As a result of the bar’s negligence, Drake suffered bleeding between his skull and brain cover near the left transverse sinus.
• The injury caused Drake to permanently lose his ability to taste and smell, and forced him to incur medical costs and loss of income.
Brewing Co. Managing Partner Jeremy Van Horn said he feels bad for what happened to Drake, whom he has known for 10 years.
However, Van Horn said he feels betrayed by the lawsuit because he and other restaurant employees went out of their way to help the victim that night — even though no verbal or physical altercations occurred inside the premises.
“It happened around 2:30 in the morning after we were closed and our doors were locked and everybody was out,” Van Horn said. “Matt was standing in the parking lot of Olivor Twist’s and got shoved over. One of my managers saw what happened and scaled a fence on the front patio to get to him. My manager actually put himself in the middle of a six-person ordeal to help him out. Matt left our premises, and we still got involved. The guy who did that to him was never even in our establishment. I remember I wouldn’t let that group of people in that night because they were rude and I got a bad vibe. None of these altercations happened inside.
“I was actually part of a chase to help Matt. We chased the guy down that did that to him and made sure he got arrested for it, and then we restrained him until the police came. We also made sure Matt got into an ambulance, and we followed through the next day to see how he was doing. We also donated money to his GoFundMe account for his medical expenses. We even testified for Matt at the (criminal) court hearing to help him.”
Van Horn questioned why the man who assaulted Drake is not named in the civil suit.
Derik Horton, a 25-year-old former Elyria man, is serving four years in prison for the beating. A Lake County Common Pleas Court jury found Horton guilty in June of felonious assault and two misdemeanor assault counts.
Besides damages, Drake is also seeking a jury trial, court costs and attorney fees.
The civil case has been assigned to Judge Eugene A. Lucci.