Lawsuit Over Guitarist's Death Kept Alive By Judge

July 8, 2003

Brian Anderson of Contra Costa Times reports that an Alameda County judge has preliminarily declined to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the California Department of Transportation of failing to keep safe a section of Interstate 580 in Livermore where an up-and-coming heavy metal guitarist was killed last year.

Judge Steven Brick overruled Thursday (July 3) the agency's motion to dismiss the complaint, saying that lawyers for the parents of Robert LaRosa properly addressed the claim that Caltrans was negligent in maintaining a safe roadway.

Vince and Brenda LaRosa sued the state and Caltrans in April, claiming their son's death might not have occurred had the agency properly maintained the median separating eastbound traffic from vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.

Pleasanton residents Robert LaRosa and John Pitman Jr., both 23, were killed July 28 when a Chevrolet Monte Carlo crossed the median about a half mile east of Airway Boulevard. Their Ford Escort crumpled in the crash, and they were pronounced dead at the scene.

LaRosa was the guitarist for local heavy metal band FELLATIA, while Pitman served as the group's unofficial publicist. The band was gaining attention and a following in the Bay Area when the crash occurred. Read more.

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