Two popular Center City night spots have been named in a civil lawsuit by attorneys for Kevin Kless, a 23-year-old Temple graduate who was beaten to death by three men in January, 2012.
The suit, filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky law firm earlier today, lists Lucy's Hat Shop and G Lounge as responsible parties in Kless's death, alleging that both bars served alcohol to Kenneth Enriquiz-Santiago, Steven Ferguson, and Felix Carillo -- the three men convicted of Kless' murder -- despite their being well beyond the point of "visible intoxication" on the night of the murder. The suit also claims that Kless was served alcohol at Lucy’s that night "while he was in a visibly intoxicated condition and while exceedingly inebriated."
According to police, on the night of January 12, 2012, Enriquiz-Santiago, Ferguson and Carillo attacked and beat Kless to death on the corner of 4th and Chestnut Street while he was trying to hail a cab.
Attorney for Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, PC, Michael Barrett says it's time for the bars to own up to their responsibility in Kless' death.
“Kevin Kless did not deserve to die and the time has come to hold Lucy’s Hat Shop and G Lounge responsible and accountable for their actions as they relate to his senseless and premature death,” Barrett said.
The lawsuit claims that in describing the typical weekend crowd at Lucy's, the bar's general manager indicated: "'80% of them are having fun. I would say maybe 20 percent are beyond the point of maybe they don't know what they're doing.' Mr. Ellis has further indicated that the 20% of the crowd that 'don't know what they're doing has had too much to drink and 'maybe they can't control their how -- control their balance.'"
A check of records on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's website shows that since 1999, Lucy's has been cited five times that resulted in more than $3,500 in fines.
Lucy's was ordered to pay $2,000 fine in 2006 for serving alcohol to a minor, illegally operating gambling devices, and permitting lewd or improper entertainment for bar patrons.
Managers for Lucy's Hat Shop and G Lounge were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
Pennsylvania state law prohibits any establishment from selling or giving any liquor, malt, or brewed beverages, to any person that is visibly intoxicated.
Fines for serving alcohol to intoxicated persons in Pennsylvania can range from as little as $50 to as much as $5,000, according the state's liquor control code. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, the State only imposes jail sentences to licensees in violation of its liquor control laws if fines are not paid.