MARTINSBURG – A Berkeley County man who was beaten outside a Waffle House has settled his claim that the restaurant didn’t provide a safe environment for $7,500.

Hurshell V. Ricks II filed a lawsuit against Ricardo Lewis, Theo Washington, Congress Foods – doing business as Waffle House – and John Does 1-2 in Berkeley County Circuit Court over a July 2009 incident.

Ricks claimed Washington and a John Doe assaulted him while a Waffle House security guard looked on.

Ricks has incurred $12,000 in medical bills, and his $7,500 settlement will be retained until the precise amount being paid by Medicaid is known.

Ricks filed his original complaint on July 1, 2011. It alleged that he was invited by Lewis to the Waffle House on Edwin Miller Boulevard in Martinsburg to eat on July 5, 2009.

Once there, he was introduced to John Doe 2, who was identified by Lewis as a Waffle House security guard, the complaint says.

Lewis asked Ricks to speak with Washington and John Doe 1 outside the Waffle House entrance and told him Doe 1 would escort him, the complaint says. Once outside, Washington and Doe 1 allegedly began to beat him in the face.

“Plaintiff turned back to the door for help and Defendant Doe 2 said ‘no,’ locked the door, failed to both intervene and render aid in the attack and then went over to where Defendant Lewis was seated,” the complaint says.

Congress Foods fought the lawsuit in a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment, arguing it was not a named defendant in the original lawsuit and the statute of limitations tolled once it was added to an amended complaint.

It was represented by Tracey A. Rohrbaugh of Bowles Rice in Martinsburg.

On Sept. 20, the plaintiff filed a motion for default judgment as to Lewis. It was granted Oct. 1 by Judge Gray Silver III, who set up a damages hearing.

Waffle House objected to the damages hearing while its motion to dismiss was pending. It also said it planned to file cross-claims against its co-defendants.

“(T)he damages caused by Defendant Lewis, if any, should be determined by a jury during the trial of this matter,” Rohrbaugh wrote.

Silver agreed and cancelled the hearing.

Patrick G. Henry III served as mediator. Ricks was represented by Paul Taylor

From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at

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