A San Luis Obispo jury returned a verdict of $6,709,300 in favor of the family of Tricia Rittger who was struck and killed in front of The Cliff’s Resort in November 2011.
Evidence presented during the trial showed The Cliff’s Resort failed to comply with the City of Pismo Beach’s permit requirements for parking lots on its property and failed to enforce its own employee parking policy, which would have prevented Mrs. Rittger from parking in the east lot and crossing Shell Beach Road on the night she was struck and killed. Mrs. Rittger left behind a husband and young daughter.
The jury also assigned a fault to Mrs. Rittger, the City of Pismo Beach, and the driver who struck Mrs. Rittger. In total, The Cliffs and King Ventures will be forced to pay an amount comparable with the $1.5 million settlement reached earlier this year with the City of Pismo Beach. Prior to this trial, The Cliff’s had only offered $200,000 to resolve the dispute. In addition to the jury award, The Cliffs and the City of Pismo Beach agreed to erect a lighted crosswalk at the location to prevent this tragedy from ever reoccurring. The Rittger family attorney, Ryan Harris, stated, “The community will be safer because of today’s result and that was paramount for the family. No amount of money can replace a wife and a mother, but I believe the jury did its best to right a wrong.”
The trial lasted two weeks and the jury deliberated for three days before reaching a verdict. Commenting on the complexity of the trial, Mr. Harris stated “We are thankful this dispute was decided in a court of law with all of the facts revealed, rather than in the court of public