Widow of Philly cop killed in accident on I-95 sues bar and offending driver

By Jon Campisi | Aug 9, 2012

The widow of a Philadelphia police officer who was killed early last month after his motorcycle was struck by a Bucks County man driving the wrong way down Interstate 95 has filed a lawsuit against a restaurant for allegedly over-serving the man who is accused in the officer’s death.

Linda Lorenzo claims in her civil action, which was filed Aug. 2 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by attorneys with The Beasley Firm, that John D. Leck, Jr., was over-served at the TGI Friday’s restaurant in Bensalem shortly before he got in his car and caused the head-on collision that killed 48-year-old Brian Lorenzo.

Philadelphia Police officials have said that Leck was driving south in the northbound lanes of I-95 at close to 3:15 in the morning on July 8 when his car collided with the police motorcycle being driven by Lorenzo.

The accident occurred near the Cottman Avenue exit of the highway.

Lorenzo, who resided in Northeast Philadelphia, was on his way home from his shift as a member of the elite Highway Patrol Unit when the accident occurred.

Leck has been charged with third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated assault while driving under the influence, DUI and involuntary manslaughter.

In her civil complaint, Linda Lorenzo accuses the defendants, which also includes TGI Friday’s owner Carlson Restaurants and Leck, of collectively contributing to the death of her husband, who was a 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department.

The lawsuit claims that Leck had consumed “at least” six alcoholic beverages at the TGI Friday’s on the 3300 block of Street Road prior to the accident, a mix of beer and hard liquor.

“Leck was served alcohol by the defendants in spite of being visibly intoxicated,” the lawsuit reads. “Leck left the TGI Friday’s so drunk that he has no recollection of where he went afterwards, until he, with a blood alcohol level of .218, killed Officer Lorenzo.”

The lawsuit claims that TGI Friday’s violated their own “statement on responsible drinking,” as well as the law, when the restaurant served Leck alcohol in the intoxicated state that he was in at the time.

“The TGI Friday’s defendants are directly responsible for Officer Lorenzo’s extreme pain and suffering, his death, and Officer Lorenzo’s family’s incalculable losses,” the lawsuit states. “Leck is also directly responsible for Officer Lorenzo’s extreme conscious pain and suffering, his death, and Officer Lorenzo’s family’s incalculable losses.”

The lawsuit contains various counts of negligence and recklessness against the three defendants.

There is also a wrongful death claim against all defendants in the complaint.

Lorenzo’s widow seeks judgment against the defendants in excess of the arbitrational limits, or $50,000 in state court.

She also seeks a jury trial.


The case ID number is 120704658. 

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