A lawsuit has officially been filed on behalf of Yergy’s State Road BBQ against the Wells County Health Department, Gov. Eric Holcomb and the state of Indiana.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday follows an appeal hearing board upholding the closure order the business received in August from the Wells County Health Department. The health department closed the restaurant due to employees not wearing masks.

Matt Yergler, chief manager of Yergy’s, was open on Facebook about not requiring employees to wear masks as he said the mask mandate is unconstitutional. The restaurant could reopen if management would agree to require masks to be worn and if fines were paid.

The restaurant has been closed for nearly four months.

The lawsuit is similar to the case attorney Mark Rutherford made to the appeal hearing board in November. The restaurant challenges the hearing officer’s order and the health department’s order since it states the health department didn’t have the authority to shut the restaurant down to begin with.

It also challenges every executive order the governor has put into place during the pandemic since each “doesn’t comply with the requirements” of the U.S. and state constitutions, “the direct consequence of which is unjust injury to Yergy’s fundamental civil rights, liberty interests, and property rights,” according to the lawsuit. It also states that the Emergency Disaster Law the governor used to put the executive orders in place is unconstitutional.

Due to the closure, the lawsuit contends the plaintiff has been placed in “dire financial straits with the likely result of having to file bankruptcy,” a result of lost profits and food product that has been thrown out.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff states that there’s “no rational basis” for having healthy employees wear masks and that no one has been forced to consume Yergy’s products. It also stated the early stages of the pandemic have passed.

The lawsuit, formally called a verified petition for judicial review and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, was signed by Yergy’s owner Adia Yergler and was filed in Wells Circuit Court.

The 16-page lawsuit can be read in its entirety by clicking here.
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