The parents and brother of a 7-year-old Gardena girl killed when she was hit by a vehicle at a car show in Santa Fe Springs in 2013 filed a lawsuit Friday against three businesses and several individuals.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed by Kisha and Johnny Chatman Jr., the mother and father of Mia Chatman, and the child’s brother, Johnny Chatman III. Two other spectators, Jkai Bronner and Jordan Lee, are also plaintiffs.
The girl was killed about 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 2013, in a warehouse in the 10200 block of Freeman Avenue at LA Express One, which is named in the complaint along with businesses Kool Aid’s Hydraulics, No Way Out, and Strickly Riding; and drivers Lishartrist James Jr., Treadvon James and Stephan Jeter.
Also named as defendants are individuals and trusts that own the property where the warehouse is located.
The suit’s allegations include wrongful death, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and premises liability. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
The girl’s father and brother suffered “severe emotional distress” from witnessing her being struck by the car and killed, the lawsuit states.
A representative for L.A. Express One could not be immediately reached.
Published reports at the time stated that the event was held to showcase lowrider cars with custom hydraulics that make the vehicles jump several feet in the air, often above the heads of surrounding audience members.
The suit states that the girl was struck by one of the show cars, but does not elaborate on how the accident occurred.
But a published report quoted Andre Pierson of the National Lowrider Association as saying: “It was totally a freak accident. The car throttle got stuck when it was being moved to the trailer. It was not hopping. It was not performing in any shape or form.”
The complaint alleges that there were too many spectators in the warehouse at the time and that children were not properly supervised. There were no areas designated for spectators to sit or stand safely away from the cars and no barriers in place to protect them, the suit alleges.
There were also no security guards present, according to the lawsuit.
— City News Service contributed to this report.