Parents of woman who died with toddler in fall at Petco Park sue San Diego and the Padres

A bird's eye view of a stadium, with a sign that says Petco Park
Raquel Wilkins and her 2-year-old fell from the third level at San Diego’s Petco Park on Sept. 25, 2021.
(Jorge Castillo / Los Angeles Times)

The family of a woman who died along with her 2-year-old son in a fall from a third-floor concourse at Petco Park last year is suing the Padres and the city of San Diego for alleged negligence.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed Dec. 7 in San Diego Superior Court by Raquel Wilkins’ parents, Darleen Clough and Donald Wilkins, alleges tables and benches at the ballpark were positioned too close to a dangerously low railing.

Wilkins, 40, and her son Denzel died shortly before 4 p.m. Sept. 25, 2021, after going over the railing from the third level of the ballpark — the equivalent of six stories high — to the street below.


The lawsuit alleges that the city and the team should have foreseen the risk posed by situating the tables and benches so close to the railing, and that the tables and benches should have been affixed to the concourse so they could not be moved.

The complaint also states that on-site security and personnel were negligent for “failing to protect decedents from the dangerous table and railing configuration and for failing to adequately maintain proper surveillance, supervision and monitoring of the premises.”

Witnesses told news crews that Wilkins climbed on a picnic table on the concourse moments before the fatal fall.

In January, San Diego police announced the deaths had been ruled a murder-suicide.

“Detectives conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation that included dozens of interviews, reviewing of available video footage and collecting background information to determine what led to the deaths,” San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said at the time.