A hotel agreed a settlement with the parents of a toddler who died jumping from a high balcony to reach relatives on the first-floor. Jesus Martinez Avila and Alejandra Sandoval Duran have reached a tentative agreement with the Embassy Suites chain over the alleged wrongful death of their three year-old, Stephanie Martinez. The terms of that settlement have not been revealed, although they may be made public at a court hearing scheduled to take place at Los Angeles Superior Court on January 17.
According to The Mercury News, Stephanie plunged from a fifth floor walkway of the Anaheim hotel in July 2015 while her mother showered in her room. The youngster wandered out onto the balcony, saw her relatives sat in the covered first-floor courtyard, and believed that climbing over and jumping down would be the quickest way to reach them.
Her mom emerged from the room to find Stephanie ‘hanging off’ the balcony rails, with the woman’s terrified scream reportedly scaring the little girl into letting go, and plunging to her death. Cousin Eddie Fraire trold KVVU at the time: ‘She screamed, so the little girl got scared and fell down from the fifth floor.’ The little girl, who lived in Las Vegas, was rushed to hospital, but succumbed to her injuries shortly afterwards.
Stephanie had been on a vacation trip to nearby Disneyland at the time of the tragedy, with relatives saying it had given them some comfort that the youngster had managed to visit the park before her death. Afterwards, her parents sued claiming that ‘dangerous, defective and unsafe’ conditions at the hotel had led to her tragic death. Further detail on these alleged flaws have not been released.