The sister of a 79-year-old man who died after his wheelchair accidentally tumbled down a flight of stairs at the Glendale Galleria in 2021 has settled her lawsuit against the owners of the shopping center this week.
Attorneys for 77-year-old Rita Sangalang, sibling of the late Jose Mariano, filed court papers on Wednesday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Ellis stating that her wrongful death/negligence complaint against Brookfield Properties Retail Inc. and Brookfield Properties Management Inc. was resolved. No terms were revealed. Ellis cancelled the scheduled Sept. 13 nonjury trial of the case.
In his court papers, a defense attorney denied any liability on the part of his clients and cited several defenses, including that Mariano assumed the risk of injury.
According to the lawsuit, Mariano went to the mall on July 19, 2021, to buy a cell phone when he “suddenly and violently” fell and tumbled down the stairs outside the Bloomingdale’s store, which blamed the accident in part on poor lighting, and the absence of adequate handrails near the stairs and wheelchair ramp.
Mariano died later that day of blunt force head trauma, according to the death certificate attached to the suit.
In addition to her damages, Sangalang has suffered the loss of her brother’s love, comfort, care, companionship and affection, according to the suit.
First published in the September 9 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.