Dwight Howard’s baby mama, Melissa Rios’ family is suing a Calabasas apartment rental company claiming she slipped on water from a broken toilet, causing her death.
According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, Dwight and Melissa’s son — David — is suing alongside his grandmother, Edelmira Vega Rios for wrongful death claiming the company is responsible for the dangerous plumbing issues inside his late mother’s apartment.
In the filing, Rio’s family accuses ASN Calabasas of being the owners and landlords of the apartment where the tragic death occurred. According to the suit, the company was responsible to give notice of “dangerous conditions” and any possible foreseeable risk of harm. The family says a plumbing issue inside the apartment’s bathroom “caused and contributed to the death” of Melissa Rios.
Dwight Howard’s Family Claims Melissa Rios Slipped On Water Leaking From Broken Toliet
“These factors include but are not limited to, the following: A dangerously broken and/or deteriorating toilet and/or hose and/or a supply line or similar toilet plumbing component that was not properly installed, maintained, cleaned and/or protected at said property causing [Melissa’] to sustain injuries,” the lawsuit reads.
The family says the company is responsible “given the fact that she died as a result of the injuries received when she slipped and fell on water and/or similar substance leaking and/or leaking or seeping” from the broken toilet in her rental unit.
The information is shocking considering reports of Melissa’s death claimed she died as a result of an epileptic seizure. A copy of Melissa’s death certificate is attached in the lawsuit, and lists the cause of death as “deferred.” Back in 2020, Dwight Howard addressed the tragic death of Rios, saying, “I’ve had some things happen in my personal life that has been difficult to really handle. My son’s mom, she had passed away a month and a half ago and it’s extremely difficult for me to try to understand how to talk to my son, who’s 6 years old, just about the whole situation.”
Melissa Rios’ Death Initially Reported As Caused By Epileptic Seizure
Melissa Rios died on March 27, 2020, she was 31. At the time, the former couple’s son — David — was six years old. Rios was alone inside the apartment at the time of her death.
Fortunately, David was staying with his NBA star father in Atlanta, Georgia when his mother passed away. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family was forced to have a small outdoor service due to the church’s social distancing restrictions.
Interestingly, following Melissa’s death, the same grandmother filed a legal case against Howard asking a court to order him to give her grandparent visitation rights. Edelmira said she was the primary caregiver for David since his birth, and wanted to see him on a regular basis.
Dwight Howard Battled With Son’s Grandmother In Court Over Custody Of 6-Year-Old
As in most wrongful death lawsuits, the family is blaming the company for the loss of “love, affection, support, comfort, and financial support,” after Melissa’s death.
The lawsuit is attempting to claim damages including related to the loss of earnings, hospital and medical expenses, along with funeral and burial expenses.
In the end, it’s unclear if Melissa suffered a seizure during the episode, but clearly, the family believes it was slipping on the wet bathroom floor that caused the death.