Family of woman killed on Venice boardwalk files wrongful death claim against city
The family of an Italian tourist who was struck and killed by a vehicle while on the Venice boardwalk during her honeymoon has filed a wrongful death suit against the City of Los Angeles. Read the full claim below.
Alice Gruppioni was with her husband on the boardwalk August 3 when Nathan Campbell drove his vehicle onto the boardwalk and plowed into pedestrians, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Campbell's defense attorney has said his client struggled to get the car out of park, then hit the accelerator pedal and panicked. Subsequently, the car moved forward and hit Gruppioni.
In the claim, Gruppioni's parents and widower accuse the City of Los Angeles of knowing there was a hazardous condition on the boardwalk, but not addressing it.
"The dangerous condition included but was not limited to, failure to provide adequate barriers that would prevent non-emergency vehicles driving on the Boardwalk," wrote attorney Gregory L. Bentley. "Here, the City of Los Angeles failed to protect against the dangers of a vehicle driving on the Boardwalk by failing to have adequate barriers or bollards to prevent non-emergency vehicles from driving on the Boardwalk."
City officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, who's district includes Venice, expressed concern about how vehicles access the pedestrian walkway.
"We have about 30 points of vehicular ingress and egress to Venice Beach, one of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares on the West Coast," Bonin previously told KPCC. "Most of them have uninterrupted access."
Immediately after August's incident, the city installed temporary bollards at some of the entrance points to Ocean Front Walk. They look like bowling pins protruding from the pavement, but can be run over by an emergency vehicle or garbage truck.
A claim is the first step in civil litigation against a city. If the city rejects the claim, the plaintiffs can then file a lawsuit.
As for the criminal case, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge found there was enough evidence for Campbell to stand trial for murder and other felony charges. The 38-year-old has pleaded not guilty.