Dies plan to file claim against House of Representatives

December 23, 2013
Mallory Dies

Mallory Dies

The parents of the woman fatally injured when a legislative aide for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara struck her and then drove away are planning to file a claim against the House of Representatives. [Noozhawk]

Attorney Robert Stoll, who represents Matthew and Raeona Dies, contends Raymond Morua was on the job as a legislative aide to Capps at the time of the accident.

Morua, 32, left a holiday party for the Santa Barbara Independent at The Savoy, allegedly struck Dies, drove away and crashed into a palm tree. Morua had a blood alcohol level of .17. The family claims Morua was attending the party as part of his job representing Capps and the House of Representatives.

Earlier this month, the Santa Barbara District Attorney charge Morua with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death.

Stoll plans to file the claim this week.



I agree that the law suit should be against who ever hosted the party, be it DNC or Rep Capp re-election committee. The fund that needs to be drained is Capp’s re-election funds, not the tax payers.


So really what they are doing is suing the taxpayers of California, just peachy. If I lost a child my first thought wouldn’t be “Cha-ching”.


It is the US taxpayers they are suing, not just those of us in California. I can see justification for some compensation for their loss (related expenses from funeral to counseling), but the lawyer undoubtedly wants everything he can get and has probably convinced the parents that a massive lawsuit will somehow result in “justice.”


Also a Civics reminder, you can sue the U.S. Gov. and win but they can say fine but we aren’t paying and that is all perfectly legal.


Lets say a policeman driving while on duty with a blood alcohol level of .17 struck and killed your spouse. We wonder if you wouldn’t sue his employer.


What a tragic story. This loss of this beautiful young woman. I can not imagine the sorrow this family is going through. The driver Morua a 32 year old has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, and leaving the scene. Morua made the decision to drink at the party, and after drinking made the decision to drive his vehicle while intoxicated. I do not understand why they are filing a claim against the House of Representatives. Any claim should be made against Morua, it was his actions that caused this tragedy.


They are filing suit against the House of Representatives (and probably anyone else that has a connection with the situation) because the more defendants there are and the deeper their pockets are, the more likely they are to collect whatever they win. Somehow, I doubt that Morua has much for financial resources to pay anything more than a modest settlement.

You may question whether they should be allowed to do these “shotgun suits” and you may think that large settlements are not appropriate in cases like this, but this is fairly common procedure for plaintiffs who think that big money will compensate for their loss and for lawyers who are out to get every cent they can.

Mr. Holly

Don’t worry the ambulance chaser will sue everyone and WE will all pick up the tab.


The attorney is not an ambulance chaser in this case. He is a hearse chaser. Their daughter is dead. Was it not negligent of jug head Capps office to hire someone with multiple DUI convictions. If he was on official business wasting taxpayer money and killed her, his employer is responsible. Respondiate superior! Look it up.

Mr. Holly

Every individual should take responsibility for their own actions. No one made the man get drunk and drive. He made that decision himself and should solely be responsible for his actions. Society these days is always looking for a way to blame someone else for their actions, usually with the help of an ambulance chasing attorney.


To volunteer at my kids’ school, I have to take a TB test, be fingerprinted, AND have a background check. Apparently the standards were much lower for Mrs. Capps’ office since Raymond Morua was hired even though he had been convicted TWICE before for DUI’s.


He is a minority. You likely are not.

the guy paso

Better than average reporting would have asked the Savoy reps who was hosting the party. It just might add to the story.


The family has a better chance of collecting from Santa Barbara Independent and The Savoy. He got drunk at their party and establishment.

Old Salt

When Capp’s first ran for Congress she “promised” to serve “one term.” That she didn’t

believe in “career” politicians. She’s lived a lie ever since.

I hope the family wins a large settlement.


I agree, but the problem is if the case goes very far it would likely be settled by the insurance company Ms Capps and the House of Representatives uses in which the premiums are paid for by the taxpayers and any increase in premiums will also be footed by the taxpayers, and again an elected official escapes responsibility


You need to provide info on who insures Congress, I believe the Feds self insure and rarely pay.

Sarah Bellum

It’s unclear how Capps’ failure to live up to her promise contributed to this tragedy. You might as well blame Obama. I blame Fox News.


O.K., we get it. You don’t care for Capps.

And leveraging this tragedy for your off message rant also says a lot.


Wow. I am no fan of Ms. Capps, and agree that the whole one term thing is an albatross (for those who still care about such things). However, I think this whole sue-em-all mentality is detrimental to society and has nothing to do with Capps or the House.

It’s like that lawsuit in Pismo that was settled (and now the city is suing a private business to recoup their settling…). Tragedies happen, but why should other people suffer as well? It’s sadistic.


I’m sure Rep. Capps had no idea that her employee would get into this kind of trouble. However, I have had to go through pretty extensive background checks both on the civilian and military sides of my career. The OPM investigation for my security clearance was quite thorough; and even for my civilian job I had to get fingerprinted and have my background checked. So there is a reasonable question as to whether or not Rep. Capps failed to exercise due diligence in checking Mr. Morua’s background prior to his employment. It comes down to whether or not she knew, or reasonably should have known, that he had these prior issues. The Dies family may very well have a case. And if Mr. Morua was in fact representing Rep. Capps at a social function, got drunk and killed Ms. Dies, then Rep. Capps is on the hook for it. Irrespective of how one feels about Rep. Capps (and I personally voted for Walter, even though I’m a conservative, but he didn’t blow smoke up my ass when I met him and asked him questions; not such a fan of the current Rep. Capps) an employer who fails to make reasonable inquiries into a prospective employee’s background probably is at least partially liable. That’s one man’s opinion on the subject, anyway.