A wrongful death lawsuit filed this week claims that the security at Celia Luna-Delgado’s employer was inadequate to “detect and deter the criminal activity” that led to her killing last year during a botched robbery.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Clark County District Court on behalf of the woman’s adult children against BL Hickerson Co., the Thomas and Katherine Kurschner Family Trust and Doe Security Co.
The Kurschner Family Trust owned the Express Check Cashing at 1411 N. Jones Blvd. until June 5, when county records show that they transferred ownership to Kwon James Taejoon and Sophia Myungsim.
Luna-Delgado had worked at the store for more than three years.
On Jan. 11, 2018, Luna-Delgado was fatally shot in the back by two men in their late teens or early 20s while opening the check-cashing business for the day. She was 55.
“This place had no security, even though they knew their employees were dealing with money,” the family’s attorney, Samantha Martin, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s ridiculous.”
According to the lawsuit, Luna-Delgado was forced into the back of the business, where she opened the safe for the robbers. It’s unclear whether the two made off with any cash. Jail and court records show that no arrests have been made in the case.
Luna-Delgado leaves behind her daughter, Sheyla Padilla, and her two sons, Carlos Perez Luna and Isao Felix Jr.
The lawsuit states that the siblings “have been deprived of her support and the value of the accumulations of her estate had she lived her normal life expectancy.”
But Martin said Thursday that the suit isn’t about money but about justice for the family and the safety of others.
“Best-case scenario would be that this never happened,” Martin said. “You can’t reverse time, but you can fight for justice.”
Through Martin, the woman’s children declined to comment on the lawsuit.
According to Martin, the check-cashing shop had security cameras, but they were not working, so there is no footage of the robbery. She said the complex as a whole does not have security in place, either.
Martin also said Metropolitan Police Department call logs show that similar crimes had recently occurred in the Santa Fe Plaza, where the check-cashing business was located, before the deadly robbery.
Because of that, the lawsuit alleges, the owners should have bolstered security measures.
A previous version incorrectly identified the owners of Express Check Cashing. The property is owned by Kwon James Taejoon and Sophia Myungsim.
In February, Las Vegas police and Celia Luna-Delgado’s children made a public plea for help in identifying the robbers.
“I think they need to deal with the consequences,” her daughter, Sheyla Padilla, said at the time.
Anyone with information may call Metro’s homicide section at 702-828-3521 or, to submit an anonymous tip, Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.