Parents of Toddler Who Fell to His Death at Staples Center Can't Sue Arena Architects, Says Judge
A portion of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a toddler who fell to his death from a luxury box at the Staples Center has been tossed out. Judge Susan Bryant-Deason today granted a motion filed by NBBJ LP, the arena's architects, to exclude their firm from the suit filed by Henry Tang and Hoai Mi Nguyen of Garden Grove, parents of Lucas Tang, the 2-year-old boy who took a fatal fall during a Lakers game in November, 2010, reports City News Service.
NBBJ was excluded from the suit on the grounds that the statute of limitations for suing a contractor or designer expires four years after a building is constructed. For The Staples Center, that time frame would have been in 2003-2004.
In their suit, Tang and Nguyen also name Anschutz Entertainment Group and L.A. Arena Co., who will remain as defendants in the case. The parents of the boy are asking for "unspecified damages."
According to initial reports from the accident scene, Lucas Tang's parents were reviewing pictures on their digital camera when they lost track of the boy, who somehow crawled over the glass partition and fell 50 feet to his death.
Officials maintain that the "pony wall" or barrier in place at the open-front boxes comply with municipal code. The suit, however, alleges that "as a direct result of the luxury box's design, Lucas Tang fell out of the box onto the ground level.''