Ruling in Coronado Mansion Wrongful Death Lawsuit

On July 13, 2011, Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found nude, hanging from a balcony at the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado in what investigators believe was a suicide, while her family insists it was a murder

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a woman found nude, bound and hanging at the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado in 2011, will be heard by a jury.

San Diego Judge Katherine Bacal ruled Friday to allow a civil lawsuit filed by the family of Rebecca Zahau to proceed to trial.

"They want closure. They really want closure. They want all the facts...they really want to know what happened to their sister," Keith Greer, the Zahau family attorney told NBC 7.

The judge overruled all requests to dismiss the case and set a trial date for March 2017.

Bacal said the lawsuit was "a difficult case, a very difficult case for the court."

On July 13, 2011, Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found nude, hanging from a balcony at the famous home. Her death came two days after boyfriend Jonah Shacknai’s 6-year-old son, Max Shacknai, fatally fell at the home while under Zahau’s watch.

Ultimately, after what they say was a thorough investigation, homicide detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department concluded that Zahau had committed suicide.

For four years, Zahau’s family fought to have the case looked at again because they believe Zahau's death was a murder, not a suicide.

In October 2014, a federal judge allowed the Zahau family to move forward with a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against Dina Shacknai, her twin sister, Nina Romano, and Zahau's boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai, whom they believe were involved in Zahau's death.

The court is expected to deny a motion by defendants Dina Shacknai, Adam Shacknai and Nina Romano to dismiss the case. 

An independent attorney told NBC 7 the development is procedural, but significant. 

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told NBC 7 the agency does not comment on pending litigation. 

Dina Shacknai's attorney Bradley Matthews said the plantiff's assertion that Zahau was murdered as revenge for Max's death was not logical or based in fact.

"Being upset with someone is an ocean away from being homicidal," Matthews said. "It is not a reasonable inference."

Matthews said even if Zahau's injuries were not self-inflicted, the plaintiff'ss case is lacking because it doesn't clearly identify who did what to her.

"Not a single word in the allegation addresses what is the crux of our argument, which is identify. In response to our argument that there's nothing in there about identity, the plantiffs cite to a paragraph to rebut that that expressedly has nothing in it about the identity of those people. And that's the heart of what we're talking about," Matthews said. 

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