Two-year-old Taqwa Dakhlalla was "all [her mother] ever wanted," a little girl who made the lives of her parents "ceaselessly better," according to Facebook posts. Then tragedy struck. On Dec. 11, 2016, Janna Walton and Abdullah Dakhlalla put their daughter to sleep in a room in their Portland, Ore., apartment with the temperature set at 62 degrees. Unbeknownst to the parents, the temperature would only rise as a heater continued to pump hot air into the room—where Taqwa was discovered the next morning, dead of overheating, according to lawsuit filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. It cites a notice from the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office stating the temperature near Taqwa's crib may have reached higher than 90 degrees, while tests showed air flowing from the heater ranged from 110 to 200 degrees, reports the Oregonian.
The lawsuit also notes the DA's office sent a letter to apartment management company Gordon Properties in April 2017 stating all wall heaters in the building should be inspected and, if necessary, replaced. The lawsuit, seeking $8 million, names both Gordon Properties and apartment owner Cathedral Park Investments, though a lawyer for the defendants says there's no evidence of liability. A separate lawsuit filed in Washington state targets Cadet Heaters, which distributed the faulty device, according to a lawyer representing Walton and Dakhlalla. In a feature earlier this year, the Atlantic described Taqwa's death as only the latest tragedy to befall the family. Dakhlalla's mother had died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma only months earlier. Shortly before that death, Dakhlalla's brother pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS. More on that here. (Read more Oregon stories.)