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LA to Pay $14 Million to Settle Fatal Venice Beach Case

Venice Beach is a destination vacation for millions of people, but it became a bitter, final destination for traveler Alice Gruppioni.

She died there five years ago when a man drove onto the boardwalk and plowed her down. The City of Los Angeles decided this week to pay her survivors about $12 million to settle their claims.

Ending three lawsuits with the settlement, the city will pay up to $2 million more for others injured in the tragedy.

The Civil Case

Christian Casadei, who was on a honeymoon with Gruppioni at the time, was among the injured. He returned to his native country, Italy, alone.

"Our honeymoon was supposed to be the start of our life," Casadei said later. "It's so hard. Life is not the same at all."

The surviving victims and their representatives sued the city, alleging it failed to protect them. They said the boardwalk lacked adequate barriers to prevent cars from hitting people.

Gregory L. Bentley, an attorney representing Gruppioni's widower and her parents, said the settlement marked a "bittersweet day for the family."

The Criminal Case

The criminal case against the driver is another story.

Nathan Campbell was charged with murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and hit-and-run. At trial, he said it was an accident.

Prosecutors said he was frustrated over a botched drug deal, and he drove onto the boardwalk in anger. Sixteen people were injured in the melee.

A jury convicted Campbell of second-degree murder, and the judge sentenced him to 42 years in state prison.

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