Portland parents file $8M suit for daughter's death in hot apartment

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Portland couple has filed an $8 million lawsuit against their apartment company, claiming their 2-year-old daughter died because a heater in their unit raised the temperature in her room to a lethal level.

Portland attorney Jane Paulson, who's representing Taqwa Dakhlalla's estate, says the child was healthy before she died in December 2016 when the heater and thermostat in her room malfunctioned.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday that the parents are suing apartment owners Cathedral Park Investments LLC and the apartment management company Gordon Properties Inc.

In April, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office sent Gordon Properties a letter stating that the thermostat in Taqwa's room was reportedly set to 62 degrees, but the temperature next to the girl's crib reached 90 degrees or higher as the heater apparently kept running. The DA's office said that during testing after the girl's death, the air blowing from the heater hovered between 110 and 115 degrees, and spiked once to 200 degrees.

The defendants' attorney said more investigating needs to be done, but so far he's found no liability on the part of his clients.

Taqwa's family also filed a lawsuit in Washington state against the company that's believed to have distributed the heater, Cadet Heat. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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