Restaurant Owner Responds to Tik Tok Star's Bid to Avoid Default

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former co-owner of the Mexican restaurant Cinco in Westchester has responded to a bid by Bryce Hall to avoid a default judgment stemming from a 2020 brawl at the eatery, saying the evidence shows the Tik Tok star ignored the plaintiff's lawsuit and that he does not deserve special treatment as a celebrity.

In his Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, Hernan Fernando is asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensatory damages plus punitive damages and attorneys' fees from the 23-year-old Hall and co-defendant Robert "Rory" Fitzpatrick. Fernando also says his medical damages are just over $9,000. He sued the two men in April 2021.

But in a sworn declaration filed in support of his motion to halt the default process, Hall says he was not served with the complaint at his current home in Sherman Oaks until Dec. 7, a day after Fernando's attorneys filed their court papers seeking a default judgment.

Hall disputes the assertions of a process server who contends that he personally presented the defendant with the lawsuit documents. Hall further says that when he received the complaint at his current address, he acted properly by contacting his business manager and hiring an attorney.

Hall's assertions are disputed in court papers filed Friday by Fernando's attorneys.

"Hall's celebrity status does not entitle him to special rules that allow him to ignore a lawsuit for nearly two years and then avoid the repercussions of an entry of default," Fernando's lawyers argue in their court papers. "And Hall's feigned belief that he was never served with the complaint is belied by the facts."

Hall was driving his Tesla from his Bel Air mansion in June 2021 when a process server approached to try and present him with the lawsuit, according to the plaintiff's attorneys' court papers, which further state that Hall yelled an epithet at the server.

The process server waited and Hall returned, but put his car in reverse and drove away when he saw the server, who then attached copies of the documents to the home's intercom, according to Fernando's attorneys' court papers.

"This was valid personal service," according to Fernando's lawyers' court papers, which further state that the server also mailed copies to Hall.

In his lawsuit, Fernando says that Hall should pay at least $500,000 in punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages. He also accuses the influencer of racism, saying Hall chided him when he spoke in Spanish and derided his Latino heritage.

"Being a part-owner of Cinco and owning my own business in Los Angeles was the culmination of my American dream and the embodiment of my life's work," Fernando says in a sworn declaration in support of the default judgment. "I considered it my greatest professional achievement and took immense pride in being a co-developer and co-owner of such an establishment."

Hall, Fitzpatrick and two of their companions arrived at Cinco in the late afternoon of Oct. 19, 2020, and Fernando seated them outside due to coronavirus restrictions, according to the plaintiff.

"I noticed that all four men were acting a little exuberant and loud," Fernando says, adding that Hall mimicked him after he spoke in Spanish to the eatery's hostess.

Fernando says he asked the four to leave after they ignored demands they stop vaping.

"In response to my request that they leave, Hall pulled out his vape pen, took a hit and blew smoke into my face," Fernando says. "Although I was frustrated, irritated and concerned by Hall's conduct, especially given that we were in the midst of a pandemic, I remained calm, told Hall it was time to go and attempted to direct him towards the exit."

While he was escorting the group out, according to Fernando, Fitzpatrick began punching him and Hall grabbed the plaintiff on the front of his shirt, causing all three to fall to the floor.

Fernando says he suffered a broken hand, bruised face, pain from being punched in the ribs as well as neck and back injuries caused by Hall violently pulling his neck into a chokehold. Fernando further says he heard Hall screaming that he was rich and had lawyers who could get him out of any trouble.

Hall yelled at Fernando, "I'm from Bel Air and you're just a fat Mexican who works at a restaurant," according to the plaintiff.

Fernando says he remained a co-owner of Cinco until last August.

A hearing on Hall's motion to set aside the default judgment is scheduled May 11 before Judge Kerry Bensinger.

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