Widow of Phila. officer in DWI death sues bar

Officer Brian Lorenzo , killed by a wrong-way driver on I-95.
Officer Brian Lorenzo , killed by a wrong-way driver on I-95.
Posted: August 04, 2012

The widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Brian Lorenzo is suing the Bensalem T.G.I. Friday's restaurant that served alcohol to the wrong-way driver who allegedly struck and killed him last month.

Also named as defendants in the suit, filed late Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, is the restaurant's parent company, Carlson, and John D. Leck Jr., identified as the driver of the Audi A6 that struck and killed Lorenzo on July 8.

Leck, 47, of Levittown, drank "at least six alcoholic beverages," including three 22-ounce Coors Lights, one 14-ounce Coors Light, and two vodka drinks, at the Friday's on Street Road, according to the suit.

"Leck left the T.G.I. Friday's so drunk that he has no recollection of where he went afterward, until he, with a blood-alcohol level of 0.218, killed Officer Lorenzo," the suit states.

According to police, Leck was driving south on northbound lanes of I-95 at 3:13 a.m. when his Audi collided with a police motorcycle being ridden by Lorenzo, 48, just south of Cottman Avenue.

Lorenzo, a 23-year veteran of the force assigned to the Highway Patrol Unit, had just finished a shift and was riding to his home in the Somerton section of Northeast Philadelphia when he was killed.

At 10 a.m. Friday, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will preside at an interfaith memorial service for Lorenzo at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

Leck was charged with third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault while driving under the influence, driving under the influence, and involuntary manslaughter.

The suit says T.G.I. Friday's violated the law and its liquor license by serving a visibly intoxicated man.

A spokesman for Carlson could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

A spokesperson for T.G.I. Friday’s issued this statement: “We join the community in the profound grief regarding the death of Officer Brian Lorenzo. Our heartfelt thoughts remain with his family and colleagues, and we continue to work with state and local law enforcement on their ongoing investigation. As this matter is now in litigation, it is inappropriate for us to discuss specifics.”

Lorenzo's wife and three children have suffered "the loss of the pecuniary value of the services, society, comfort, companionship, maintenance, guidance, tutelage, support, protection, and enjoyment" provided by Lorenzo, the suit says.

The suit lists lost monetary support, as well as damages from expenses incurred from Lorenzo's funeral and burial, administrative expenses, medical expenses, and pecuniary losses recoverable under the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act.


Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983, or bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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