PALMDALE – The mother of a 16-year-old Palmdale High School sophomore who died last spring when an SUV slammed into their apartment building has filed a lawsuit against the man behind the wheel as well as the building’s owner.
Maria Mendoza‘s daughter, Giselle Mendoza, was killed during the early morning hours of Sunday, April 20, when a Nissan Pathfinder crashed through the bedroom of her family’s first-floor apartment on the 1000 block of East Avenue R in Palmdale.
The Pathfinder’s driver, Roberto Rodriguez, was held to answer to charges of murder, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and causing injury, driving with a .08% blood alcohol content and causing injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Rodriguez’s vehicle jumped a raised curb and went through a fence before crashing through the structural wall of the apartment building and into the teen’s bedroom, according to testimony at a probable cause hearing held in January. (Read more here.)
The civil lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that building owner Bo Kun Song negligently maintained a railing in front of the apartment that he knew was unsafe and needed repair or replacement. The plaintiff alleges that Song’s inaction allowed the suspected drunken driver’s vehicle to plow through the wall of the apartment building and into the teen’s bedroom.
Representatives for Song and Rodriguez could not be immediately reached.
[City News Service contributed to this report.]
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