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Last year, a woman died in her Sacramento apartment due to a broken heater. Her sister files a lawsuit

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The sister of a woman who died of heat stroke in her Sacramento apartment is suing her landlord.

Marione Okiku, 74, died May 22, 2023, at her River Park apartment at 5478 Carlson Drive.

“An autopsy confirmed the cause of death,” said the coroner’s report, obtained by The Sacramento Bee through a California Public Records Act request. “The oven was on in the house and the key to turn it off was broken. She was exposed to high temperatures in the home.”

According to the report, she was exposed to high temperatures for several days.

Okiku’s sister, Hazel Castellano, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the landlord in Sacramento Superior Court last month.

“Prior to her death, (Okiku) had repeatedly asked the defendants, and each of them, to repair or replace the said heater,” the lawsuit alleged. “Despite numerous requests, the defendants failed to take any action to repair or replace the heater, and these negligent acts and omissions were a direct and proximate cause of (Okiku’s) death.”

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The apartment complex is owned by San Jose-based Carlson Drive Apartments LLC. The LLC purchased the complex from an El Dorado Hills couple in October 2021, according to the county assessor’s office.

According to documents filed with the Secretary of State, the registered agent for the LLC is Humberto Escapini of San Jose, founder of EKHO Capital.

Escapini did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Okiku was one of at least five people to die of heat stroke in Sacramento since Jan. 1, 2022. Among them was Michael Hooper, who was homeless and exposed to high temperatures in a park in September 2022. At least nine people have died from heat stroke. hypothermia in the same time frame after exposure to cold temperatures, including at least three homeless people, according to coroner records.

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