Frisco Restaurant Sues State ​Over Coronavirus Shutdown

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By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

FRISCO (1080 KRLD) - The owner of a steakhouse in Collin County says the coronavirus shutdown violates the Texas constitution. So he’s suing. 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of EG Steak, a Brazilian steakhouse in Frisco, wants the state to compensate for losses caused by the shutdown.

David Jeiel, co-owner of EG Steak, says the business has taken a huge hit. He says switching to to-go and delivery only hasn't provided enough income to pay even the water bill. The restaurant was forced to furlough 40 employees.

"And then the following day we had people who showed up and said, I've got nowhere to go, tell me what you need," Jeiel says.

Now, the restaurant is filing a $2 million lawsuit against the state, county and city. 

Jeiel's attorney, James Mosser, says the problem isn’t that the state forced the restaurant to close.

"They can order the closing, but when they do that, the government is required to compensate," Mosser says. "Every business that was told to close their doors and don't come to work for the last two-and-a-half months should be compensated for their losses."

Mosser says not paying violates Article One, Section 17 of the Texas Constitution, which states: "No person's property shall be taken, damaged for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made."

​Jeiel says he isn't interested in pointing fingers. But, he says he's struggling for his own survival and he won't go down without a fight. 

In response to the lawsuit, the city of Frisco released this statement:​

“Frisco is – and always has been -- a business friendly community.  It’s unfortunate this unprecedented pandemic threatened the livelihoods of businesses everywhere – and many businesses were forced to close to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens.  We’re encouraged businesses are beginning to open safely under the state’s ‘Open Texas’ plan. As to the lawsuit, we intend to be aggressive in our defense against claims we categorically deny.”