City Council Agrees To Pay Couple Whose Baby Was Killed At Art Walk Event $500K
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted 10-0 to pay $500,000 to the parents of a 3-month-old boy killed when a car slammed into pedestrians at a downtown Art Walk event in 2011.
A 2012 lawsuit faulted the city for not putting up traffic barriers for an event attended by “tens of thousands of pedestrians.”
The settlement is in response to that lawsuit filed by Jimmy and Natasha Vasquez. Their baby boy, Marcello, was fatally struck by the vehicle and thrown from his stroller.
“It was an unfortunate accident, but the family is happy that the city resolved the case,” attorney Jonathan S. Dennis said.
City Attorney Mike Feuer also issued a statement about the settlement, saying “this is a tragic situation,” the city hopes the “resolution of this matter brings some measure of solace to Marcello’s parents.”
The lawsuit also names Los Angeles Art Walk Inc., the organizers of the event; Tyrell Chandler, the driver of the car; and Gabrielle Johnson, who the plaintiffs believe owned the vehicle.
The suit’s allegations include wrongful death, negligence, negligent entrustment of a vehicle and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The accident occurred about 9:15 p.m. on July 14, 2011, near Spring and Fourth streets.
Chandler was trying to parallel park on Spring Street when the car he was driving jumped the curb and struck two pedestrians before hitting the baby’s stroller, according to the suit.
“Infant Marcello was killed as a result of the collision,” the suit says. “This tragic death is a result of the … failure to properly design and create safe walking areas for pedestrians and place sufficient barriers and protections for pedestrians.”
Afterward, the city and event organizers put up more barricades and blocked off areas to reduce the risk of traffic accidents there, according to the lawsuit.