By Cat Keniston
A Compton woman whose 22-month-old daughter was run over by a pickup truck driven by her mother's boyfriend sued her landlords Thursday, alleging their failure to fix the front door of the home they rented to the plaintiff allowed the toddler to open it by herself just before she was killed.
"The owners of the building knew about the broken door and refused to remedy the condition," plaintiff Elizabeth Moreno alleges in her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Pedro and Rosa Alvarado over the loss of Moreno's daughter, Natalia Trinidad.
The Alvarados could not be immediately reached for comment on the suit, which seeks unspecified damages on allegations of wrongful death and negligence.
The toddler died at the scene of the accident, which occurred shortly after 10 p.m. last June 26 in the 600 block of North Willow Avenue.
`When homicide detectives arrived, they learned that the mother's boyfriend was not aware her child followed him outside of the home when he was backing his pickup truck out of the driveway, sheriff's Deputy Lisa Jansen said then. "As he was backing his truck out, he felt the truck run over an unknown object."
Jansen said the driver, whose name was withheld, "did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol" and there were "no obvious signs of foul play."
According to the lawsuit, the property where Moreno lived with her daughter "was in a complete state of dilapidation," with the living area linked "by an improperly, illegally and recklessly enclosed patio area."
The patio had a front door that was "broken and unfit for use," according to the complaint. "As a result ... Natalia was able to push open the dangerous door and walk into the driveway ... where she was struck by a reversing automobile, causing her major crush trauma eventually resulting in her death."
The driveway also was in such poor condition that it violated the Compton municipal code, the suit alleges.
Moreno, realizing that her daughter walked away from her, went outside after hearing the truck and saw the child under the vehicle, the suit says.
"Rushing to her daughter, she watched as the life left the 1-year- old," the suit states.