Pismo Beach pays $1.5 million, litigants name more defendants
October 25, 2013
Pismo Beach has agreed to pay $1.5 million to the family of a woman who was struck by a vehicle and killed while crossing Shell Beach Road.
In 2011, Tricia Rittger was walking across the street from a parking lot to the Cliffs Resort to meet friends. At the time, she was wearing dark clothing and texting on her cell phone, sources said.
In 2012, Tricia Rittger’s husband Aaron Rittger filed a lawsuit against the city of Pismo Beach and the Cliffs Resort claiming his wife’s death could have been prevented if a crosswalk and proper signage were in place. The complaint says that both the Cliffs and the city of Pismo Beach had ample warning that the crossing was dangerous.
A few days ago, during settlement negotiations with the city, Aaron Rittger’s attorneys filed a motion to bring each individual owner of the Cliffs Resort personally into the lawsuit.
In a press release, the city denies liability and says it agreed to pay the settlement to avoid legal fees and the uncertainty of litigation.
“The city continues to maintain that factors other than the city’s ownership of the road were the cause of the accident,” Pismo Beach Manager James Lewis said. “Nonetheless, the city recognizes that litigation produces uncertain results and significant financial costs.”