By Kristina Pritchett
Family members of a Dana Point man that was killed last year have filed charges against a Laguna Beach developer for wrongful death, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Dana Point Times and confirmed by the family’s lawyer.
According to a complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court on Dec. 8, 2016, Renee Raith, Eric Raith, Stephanie Hudock, Greg Raith and Mededith Arakelyan allege Gallo Corporation and an unnamed driver of wrongful death.
The Raith’s attorney confirmed the driver was Keith Gallo of Gallo Corporation.
“Gallo Corporation has strong defenses and believes it will be exonerated,” said Edward Susolik, attorney for Gallo Corporation.
On April 9, 2016, Thomas Raith, 69 of Dana Point, was driving on Golden Lantern near Selva Road and was struck by another driver and died at the scene.
According to the complaint, Gallo Corporation owned, operated, controlled, repaired and entrusted the vehicle to a driver, Gallo, who driver was using the vehicle with the consent and permission of the Corporation.
“I think it’s a complete travesty my clients went a year without hearing anything,” said Gregory G. Rizio, attorney for the family.
The family is asking for economic losses including the loss of financial support Raith would have contributed to the family, the loss of gifts and benefits, funeral and burial expenses and the reasonable value of household services Raith would have provided. They are also requesting a jury trial.
“The family is extremely touched by the community’s outpour of love, and how much the community has rallied around them,” Rizio said.
Rizio said a court date has not been set yet, but could be a year from when the complaint was filed.
This story was updated at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12.
This is a developing story, more information will be published when made available.