Toddler's Fatal Falls at Lakers Game an Accident
The Los Angeles coroner has ruled that the death of a child who fell from a third-level luxury suite at the Staples Center was an accident. According to the autopsy, Lucas Anthony Tang, 2, died of multiple injuries from the fatal fall, but no foul play was found, according to the Los Angeles Times. According to David Lara of the city building department, the luxury box barriers do comply with California building codes.
Tang was having his picture taken with his parents and sister in front of a glass barrier. Tang hit a row of empty seats below, causing critical injuries. Somehow the parents lost track of Lucas and he got over the barrier and fell almost 30 feet to his death. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The juvenile division of the LAPD launched a routine investigation into Tang's death, the LA Times reports. A person who knows the family stated that the parents had kept a close eye on Tang throughout most of the evening, and that Tang spent most of the game on his mother's lap.
There is no word yet on whether the Staples Center could be found liable for the accident, or whether there was any negligence involved. That isn't to say the parents couldn't file suit, though.
It also does not appear as though the parents will face any criminal charges for the tragedy. In California, child neglect is defined as negligent treatment which threatens the child's health or welfare, or the willful failure to meet a child's basic needs, including food, shelter, clothes, medical treatment, and supervision. Decisions in these situations are made on a case-by-case basis.
- Toddler's death at Staples Center ruled accidental by coroner (The Washington Post)
- What is child neglect? (FindLaw)
- Child Abuse Laws State-by-State (FindLaw)
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