Claim filed in death of Italian newlywed on Venice boardwalk

In this Aug. 5, 2013, file photo, a card showing a photo of Italian newlyweds Alice Gruppioni and her husband, Christian Casadei, is part of a makeshift memorial for Gruppioni along Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Attorneys for the family of an Italian honeymooner who was killed when a driver allegedly plowed into a crowd on the Venice boardwalk announced Monday that they have filed a claim for damages against the city of Los Angeles.

“We believe this tragedy could have been avoided had the city acted in a timely manner,” attorney Gregory L. Bentley said in a statement.

He is representing of Alice Gruppioni, 32, who was allegedly run over by Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, on Aug. 3 as his car careened down the Venice beach boardwalk. Campbell has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder with a deadly and dangerous weapon in Gruppioni’s death, as well as many other charges.


In his statement, Bentley said that the Gruppioni family intends to “fully support” the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in the criminal case against Campbell.

Gruppioni was on the boardwalk with her husband when she was fatally struck. Authorities said at least 17 others were injured in the incident when Campbell allegedly rammed past a barrier onto the beachfront pedestrian walkway and struck people as his car careened for at least a half mile.

Witnesses said the driver appeared to be deliberately targeting people.

Campbell’s pretrial hearing is set for March 13.

Gruppioni’s father, Valerio, said in a statement that “this has been an extremely difficult time for our family.”

“We have faith in the American legal system to bring justice in this matter,” he said.

The claim filed on behalf of the Gruppioni family Monday is the first step in what could lead to a lawsuit if it’s rejected by the city.

According to the claim, attorneys are seeking unspecified damages for Gruppioni’s former husband, her mother and father. The family claims the city knew about -- and had time to address -- dangerous conditions that existed at the boardwalk at the time of the deadly incident.

A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said Monday that as a matter of policy they do not comment “on any pending or potential claims or litigation.”

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