Attorneys for Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor and Heather Legieza, the widow of fallen Brentwood police officer Destin Legieza, have reached a settlement in civil suit filed against the Franklin bar following officer Legiza’s death in a traffic collision in 2020.
The lawsuit was initially seeking $7 million, but the specifics of the settlement were not made public.
“It was a fair amount to take accountability for their [Kimbro’s] role, given the circumstances,” Legieza’s attorney Brandon Bass said in a phone call.
Bass said that the case’s settlement is “highly unusual” compared to most wrongful death claims against a bar in Tennessee, which he said are normally drawn out for months or years in the court system.
“Through the extraordinary conscientiousness and diligence of Heather Legieza, it has reached its conclusion much, much, much faster to get an outcome,” Bass said.
The suit alleged that Kimbro’s staff over served alcohol to Ashley Kroese, the driver who was charged in the June 18 motor vehicle crash that killed Destin Legieza on Franklin Road in Brentwood.
Kroese is currently facing two counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication, vehicular homicide, aggravated assault that resulted in death, reckless endangerment with a vehicle and driving on the right. Kroese is scheduled to return to court in August.
According to the civil suit, the complaint alleged that a Kimbro’s employee began serving alcoholic beverages to Kroese around midnight on June 18 after knowing that she had previously consumed alcohol earlier in the evening, adding that the employee should have also known this “by Kroese’s words and actions.”
The complaint alleged that Kroese was over served by employees “for several hours even though the employee(s) knew that she was visibly intoxicated.”
The complaint also alleged that at least one employee was aware that Kroese was intoxicated when she left the bar. The complaint alleged also that she had to walk several blocks to her vehicle before driving with no headlights on around 4:30 a.m.
“Kimbro’s violated Tennessee Code Ann. § 57-4-203(c)(1) because it sold alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated person, Kroese.
“Heather Legieza brings this claim against Kimbro’s under Tennessee Code Ann. § 57-10-102(1), which creates a cause of action or wrongful death against the seller of alcoholic beverages when the beverages are sold to a visibly intoxicated person.
“Kimbro’s illegal sale of alcoholic beverages to Kroese was the proximate cause of the death of Officer Legieza,” the complaint reads, alleging damages and pain and suffering.
In September 2020, Kimbro's owner Will Jordan sent a statement to the Home Page about the lawsuit which can be read in full below.
"When I learned that Brentwood Police Officer Destin Legieza was killed in a car crash with a young lady that had visited my establishment hours prior, my heart sank," Jordan said.
"I grieve the loss for Officer Legieza’s family, the Brentwood Police Department family, and the community. The young lady involved in the accident left my establishment several hours before the accident after ordering two waters, two bags of chips and one beer. My establishment is named as the sole defendant in a civil lawsuit brought by Officer Legieza’s widow, which I view as an attempt to piece together what happened in the hours before the accident. While I don’t know the answer to that question, I hope Mrs. Legieza uncovers the truth and finds peace.”
Kimbro’s attorney Mickey Schmitt did not immediately return a call for request for comment.