The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

T.G.I. Friday's Sued for Wrongful Death of Officer by DUI Driver

Driving under the influence is always in the news when people are injured or killed in accidents. What we don’t often hear about is what happens afterwards. Instead, we feel sad and then move on while the families are left to deal with their loss.

However, when there is a high profile DUI, we can learn about what can happen to not only the driver, but the establishment that served the driver. Philadelphia Police Officer Brian Lorenzo was killed on his way home from his shift by John D. Leck Jr. after Leck drove his Audi A6 the wrong way on I-95 and hit Lorenzo’s motorcycle, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Now, Lorenzo's wife is suing T.G.I. Friday's and Leck for wrongful death. She claims that Friday's is liable because it violated the law by serving a visibly intoxicated man. What does she need to prove to recover from T.G.I. Friday's?

A wrongful death suit is based on the negligent or intentional wrongful act that results in death. To succeed in a wrongful death claim, one must show that there was a death, that it was caused by negligence or through intentional harm, family members survive the deceased, and there is a personal representative for the deceased's estate.

Here, it is likely that Lorenzo's wife is claiming that Friday's was negligent in serving Leck so much alcohol. What helps her claim is that if someone violates a public safety law, then it is easier to prove their negligence.

What will make this claim a winner is if it can be proven that Leck was served alcohol while visibly intoxicated, because under Pennsylvania's dram shop laws a can be found liable if it served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. Otherwise, the establishment will have no liability whatsoever.

Hopefully this case will bring some good to Officer Brian Lorenzo's family. Although, no matter what, T.G.I. Friday's reputation might suffer a bit after this lawsuit.

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