The city of Los Angeles has been sued for failing to provide adequate barriers along the Venice Beach Boardwalk, where the driver of a Dodge Avenger plowed down more than a dozen people about a year ago.
The driver killed an Italian woman on her honeymoon and injured 17 others. The woman’s husband, Christian Casadei, filed suit on Tuesday. Three other people who were injured—Joanna Botton, Nancy Martinez and Jose Enrique Gutierrez—filed two separate suits on July 25.
Matthew McNicholas, a partner at Los Angeles-based McNicholas & McNicholas, who represents the three injured people, predicted that more lawsuits would be filed.
“They had barriers at this dead end, but they didn’t have enough of them,” he said. “It would be like you sold a five-seater car with four seatbelts in it.”
On Aug. 3, 2013, Nathan Louis Campbell drove his car onto the north side of the boardwalk, a pedestrian promenade packed with vendors, street performers and tourists. Campbell, claiming it was accidental, has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.
The lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court, allege that the city created a dangerous condition in failing to provide the appropriate number of barriers in that area of the boardwalk. Although the city had installed bollards elsewhere, Campbell was able to drive his car through a “huge gap” where no barriers existed, McNicholas said.
McNicholas said his clients suffered “very serious neurological and orthopedic issues” that have made it difficult to walk.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, declined to comment.
In Tuesday’s suit, Casadei and the parents of Alice Gruppioni—Valerio Gruppioni and Barbara Michelini—sued the city, plus Los Angeles County and Campbell.
Gregory Bentley of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley of Claremont, Calif., who filed the suit, did not return a call for comment.
Contact Amanda Bronstad at firstname.lastname@example.org.