Safe Crosswalk Advocacy

New Times SLO recently published an article regarding the ongoing legal trouble faced by the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. is proud to represent Tricia Rittger, who was struck by a car and killed while crossing Shell Beach Road in front of the Cliffs Resort on November 19, 2011. Tricia was a resident of Los Osos and tragically left behind a husband and young daughter.

Attorney Ryan Harris has already reached a settlement with both the driver of the vehicle and the City of Pismo Beach, but is also aggressively pursuing legal action against the Cliffs Resort. Joining Ryan in suing the Cliffs is the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (JPIA), who is seeking both general and special damages, and a refund of the $1.5 million settlement JPIA paid out on behalf of the City of Pismo Beach.

Both Attorney Ryan Harris and the JPIA are taking action against the Cliffs Resort for violating a conditional use permit (CUP) that explicitly forbids the Cliffs Resort from letting guests use an east parking lot located across the street from the Cliffs Resort on Shell Beach Road. Parking in this lot requires patrons to cross Shell Beach Road—a road that is completely lacking a crosswalk, any signage indicating people will be crossing, or proper lighting. However, this east lot is routinely used. Attorney Harris told New Times, “The JPIA filing suit against the Cliffs is a demonstration that the Cliffs was irresponsible in the way it used its property and specifically violated the CUP. That irresponsibility resulted in a dangerous situation and unfortunately cost Mrs. Rittger her life.”

Attorney Clayton U. Hall with JPIA also remarked that the Cliffs’ “failure to comply with the requirements of [the CUP] resulted in the death of Tricia Rittger.” In a letter included with the lawsuit, Hall warns that if the “Cliffs does not take over the defense and indemnity of the City in this action, the City will be obligated to proceed with direct litigation arising out of the failure to comply with the CUP.”

According to the New Times article, neither the general manager of the Cliffs Resort, Mike Casola, or Cliffs owner John King, were available to comment on the lawsuit.

Ryan Harris is proud to have represented the Rittger family thus far, and is looking forward to continuing to fight for justice for Tricia and her family.

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