H-PISMO BEACH

Oct 25, 2013 8:48 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Tricia Rittger family wants Cliffs Resort to take responsibility for her death

The family of a woman killed in front of the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach nearly two years ago said her death could have been avoided. Trisha Rittger, of Los Osos, was 39-years old when she was hit and killed while crossing the street in front of the Cliffs in 2011. Rittger was also the national sales manager at KSBY.

Her family filed a civil lawsuit in 2012 against the Cliffs Resort. The Rittger family said the resort was in the wrong for allowing her to park in the lot across the street from the hotel.

Rittger Family attorney Ryan Harris said, "We found that there's a permit dating back to the original construction of the Cliff's Resort that actually prohibits use of that east parking lot by guests or the public."

According to the Pismo Beach Planning Commission Permit, issued to the resort in 1983, "The parking area located between Shell Beach Road and the freeway shall be used for valet parking and employee parking only and shall not be accessible to the business patrons or general public. Gates or other similar physical control measures shall be constructed to prevent access by unauthorized users. Signs shall also be provided to warn drivers."

Harris said it wasn't until this week that the resort finally put up a sign and chains preventing access to patrons.

KSBY reached out to the Cliffs Resort in person and on the phone for comment, but were told that General Manager Mike Casola was on vacation. KSBY also attempted to speak to someone at King Ventures, the owner of the Cliffs Resort, but they said no one was available for comment.

Harris said the lawsuit against the Cliffs Resort continues, and a civil jury trial could start next year or next spring. The Rittger Family also sued the city of Pismo Beach and a $1.5 million dollar settlement was reached on Thursday.

Tricia left behind a husband and young daughter.

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