LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Authorities said the parents of two boys who drowned when the family’s car plunged off a pier into the water of the Port of Los Angeles last year have filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.
Several government entities were also named in the suit filed by Ali Elmezayen and Rabab Diab.
They filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages on allegations of wrongful death, dangerous condition of a public property, negligence and strict product liability.
The suit also names as defendants the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, the state Department of Transportation, Jiffy Lube International Inc. and Honda North America Inc.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, declined to comment.
Last year, police said the family’s 1998 Honda Civic containing the plaintiffs and their sons, 12-year-old Elhassen Elmezayen and 8-year-old Abdelkarim Elmezayen, left a parking lot at the Ports O’Call Village in San Pedro and ran off the road at Berth 73 about 5 p.m. April 9, 2015, landing upside down in roughly 30 feet of water.
The suit alleges the various agencies were negligent for not have barriers in the area to prevent cars from going off the roadway and into the water.
“In short, there were functionally no precautionary measures taken by any public defendant to this action to prevent a car from plunging into the deep waters below the berth,” the suit states. “This (also) included a lack of adequate signage or other such warnings to the public.”
The suit also alleges the staff at a Jiffy Lube store in Lynwood performed inadequate maintenance on the car a month prior to the accident and that Honda is liable because the car had faulty brakes.
The lawsuit contends the parents also suffered emotional distress from witnessing their boys “struggle frantically for their lives before drowning.”
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