[UPDATED] Woman Accused of Killing Her Daughter and Her Daughter’s Friend in DUI Collision Files Claim Against Fortuna for Damages
Marci Kitchen, accused of killing her own daughter and her daughter’s friend, on July 12 when she was driving intoxicated and struck them, filed a
lawsuit claim against the City of Fortuna and other government agencies asking monetary damages.
According to documents on the City’s website, the claim which was filed on January 6 states that
Marcia Kitchen, individually and as the surviving mother of decedent Kiya Kitchen, claims damages from the State of California, California Department of Transportation, County of Humboldt and the City of Fortuna…This claim is based on the fatal injuries sustained by claimant’s daughter, and the injuries attendant to the loss…
Kitchen’s claim alleges that “the accident was caused” by the “dangerous condition” of Eel River Drive. (See here, scroll to page 41, for the description of what was allegedly wrong with the road.)
In addition, on January 11, Joe Kitchen, the father of Kiya Kitchen, and Jevin Kitchen, the brother of Kiya, also filed a claim against the City and others. That claim lists not only Marci Kitchen as a witness but also her boyfriend, Josh Pearlston and a Trent William Stewart.
Fortuna City staff recommended that the three claims be rejected.
[UPDATED] Attorney Zach Zwerdling, who represents the father and brother of the deceased girl explained that the claim was necessary. “It was my decision to file,” he said. “The government code is very strict.” If, he said, Kiya’s brother and father did not file within 6 months (which would have been January 12) they never would have been able to file. “We anticipated that Griego and Okin [Marci Kitchen’s attorneys] would do that. It’s common in cases like this. We did this to protect Joe and Jevin’s rights.”
According to California law, family members including siblings of those who die without children are entitled to make a claim for compensation for the loss of their loved one’s presence in their life.
Links to earlier stories:
- Hit and Run: Child Injured in Fortuna
- Two Teenage Girls Killed by Hit and Run Driver
- Witness May Have Seen Vehicle Fleeing Last Night’s Fatal Hit and Run
- Vehicle Involved in Hit and Run Death of Teens Found Near Home of Mother of One of the Teens
- CHP Confirms They’ve Recovered Vehicle Involved in Fatal Hit and Run at One of the Victim’s Residences
- Driver of Vehicle in Tuesday’s Hit and Run Has Contacted Law Enforcement
- A Candlelight Vigil for the Two Young Girls Tragically Killed in a Hit and Run Accident
- Grief Counseling Offered at Fortuna Middle School
- Good Progress’ Learning About Death of Fortuna Teens, Says CHP Spokesperson
- 911 Call Reporting the Hit and Run Which Left Two Girls Dead Last Week; Warning, This Is Graphic Audio
- CHP Asks For Help Finding Two Suspected in Hit and Run Deaths of Two Teenagers
- Suspect’s Attorneys Refute CHP’s Press Release
- Kiya Suzanne Kitchen: Full of Life and Love
- Friends Rally Round Joe Kitchen Whose Daughter Died in Fortuna Hit and Run Accident
- Marci Kitchen Arrested and Made Bail
- Sheriff’s Office Releases Booking Photo and Charges Against Marci Kitchen