Family of KSBY employee hit by car seeks damages from Pismo Beach hotel

Tricia Rittger
Tricia Rittger

A jury trial began Thursday in the civil case against The Cliffs Resort by the family of a woman struck and killed by a vehicle as she crossed the street to meet friends at the hotel.

Tricia Rittger, 39, died after being struck by a vehicle while crossing Shell Beach Road from a small parking lot across the street on the night of Nov. 19, 2011. She was the national sales manager at KSBY, where she worked for 13 years.

In court this week, an attorney for the Rittger family argued that the Cliffs did not enforce a parking policy requiring employees only to park in the small parking lot, which forced guests to use the lot and cross the sometimes dangerous road.

The family also contends that hotel management was not in compliance with a conditional use permit approved in 1984 that limits public access at the parking lot to hotel employees.

“If they had been compliant not only with that parking policy but also with the city’s policy with the permit, Tricia, or anyone for that matter, would not have had to cross Shell Beach Road,” the Rittger’s attorney, Ryan Harris, said Friday.

Attorneys for the Cliffs Resort allege that Rittger was texting and distracted before she was struck.

In October 2013, the Rittger family was awarded a $1.5 million settlement from the city of Pismo Beach, which is now attempting to recoup those costs from the Cliffs.

Rittger’s family is seeking an undetermined amount of general, economic and punitive damages from Cliffs Resort LLC and owner King Ventures.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

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