The parents of a woman murdered in her Torrance condominium a year ago have filed a lawsuit alleging that the owner and operators of the condominium complex are to blame for her death because they hired a security guard who was a convicted felon.
Arthur and Elaine Brody of Rancho Palos Verdes filed suit last week in Torrance Superior Court, blaming the death of their daughter, Tracy Morrigan, on Watt Homes Inc., Transworld Security Systems Inc., London House Inc. and the Chatelaine Homeowners Assn.
A former Transworld Security guard, Keith Brian Campbell, is scheduled to stand trial next month for Morrigan's murder. Investigators allege that Campbell, 24, broke into Morrigan's condominium on May 31, 1989, while he was on duty, and strangled her to death.
The incident occurred a day after Morrigan, 26, moved into the Chatelaine complex on Maple Avenue, which was developed by Watt Homes. The Chatelaine Homeowners Assn. was responsible for maintenance at the complex, and London House Inc. screened employees for the security company, the lawsuit claims.
All of the defendants should have known that Campbell was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon at the time he was hired to patrol the condominiums, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants were negligent "for the express purpose of running a 'bare bones' low-budget operation, which would maximize profits to the defendants regardless of the known risks and dangers posed to members of the general public, including Tracy Morrigan."
Watt Homes President Jerry Gates declined to comment on the suit, and other defendants could not be reached.