Wife loses husband, Philadelphia loses policeman in DUI crash

Most families who have a loved one as a law enforcement officer understand that there is some risk involved with that invaluable job. It’s a sacrifice every day to say goodbye to the loved one who serves and protects his community.

A Philadelphia family lost its father and husband to a drunk driving accident last month, meaning that the community lost a veteran police officer as well. The driver who killed the 48-year-old officer on July 8 was the exact kind of person whom the victim tried to protect his community from for years.

Already the drunk driving suspect faces criminal charges related to the fatal Philadelphia accident. But a recent report now indicates that the victim’s mourning wife is seeking further justice of her own through a wrongful death lawsuit. And she isn’t just suing the driver.

The wrongful death lawsuit also names the T.G.I. Friday’s where the driver was served and its parent company as defendants that are directly responsible for the deadly DUI accident. According to the lawsuit, the restaurant served the drunk driving suspect several alcoholic drinks during the night before the crash.

If the restaurant had followed the dram shop law that prohibits them from serving a noticeably intoxicated patron alcohol, then perhaps the alcohol-related accident could have been avoided and the victim would still be alive. In order for a court to find the restaurant at least partially liable for the fact that the driver drove the wrong way on the highway and caused the crash, the plaintiff will have to sufficiently prove that the driver was visibly intoxicated during his time at the restaurant and that the establishment continued to serve him anyway.

As a community, we all must work together to protect each other. Restaurants and other alcohol-serving establishments owe a responsibility to their communities to exercise caution regarding whom they serve since their actions can directly affect traffic safety.

Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice and this sort of case, please visit our Philadelphia dram shop liability page.

Source: The Intelligencer, “Widow of cop killed in alleged DUI crash sues Middletown man, T.G.I. Fridays,” Jo Ciavaglia, Aug. 5, 2012

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