Fatal accident leads to Pennsylvania wrongful death claim

In an update to a story first covered on the blog on July 18, the family of a Pennsylvania police officer has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant that served alcohol to the driver who crashed into and killed him. The man’s family has named the parent company of the restaurant and also the driver accused of causing the fatal accident as defendants in the suit. The driver allegedly consumed a minimum of six alcoholic beverages including a mix of beer and harder alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel and subsequently causing the wreck.

The lawsuit claims the man’s intoxication level was so high he was unable to remember where he went after leaving the restaurant. His blood alcohol content has been reported at a level of 0.218. He has since been charged with third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault while driving under the influence and driving under the influence. Because the restaurant continued to serve the “visibly intoxicated man,’ the suit claims the restaurant could lose its liquor license for violation of the law.

The suit seeks monetary support, damages stemming from the officer’s funeral and burial, medical expenses, administrative expenses and pecuniary losses. The man’s wife and the children he left behind have suffered tremendously as a result of their loss and hope to gain compensation that can be recovered by Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death Act. The restaurant issued a statement in sympathy for the family’s loss due to the fatal accident, but refused to comment on pending litigation.

Dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy such as this can be extremely difficult. The family has sought compensation for this fatal accident in the form of a Pennsylvania wrongful death suit which could allow them to receive monetary damages. While nothing can diminish their loss, winning such a case can help this man’s wife and children with what is likely a staggering amount of debt due related to what was an entirely preventable tragedy.

Source: Philly.com, “Widow of Phila. officer in DWI death sues bar,” Robert Moran, Aug.4, 2012



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