Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wrongful Death Claim against USC Dismissed

As recently reported, a Los Angeles judge dismissed the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the two slain students against the University of Southern California (USC).

According to reports, the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson dismissed the case due to insufficient legal arguments to present a connection between the killing of the two USC students and the statement made by university regarding the safety of its surroundings.

During an interview, the parents’ lawyer told media sources that in his ruling, the judge pointed out that even assuming that the school made a false statement about the safety of its surroundings in its official website, the misrepresentation did not kill the students. The judge further stated that the suspects who were present at the scene did the crime.

On the other hand, the plaintiffs are planning to file an appeal according to their lawyer. They reiterated that if not because of the misrepresentation, the students would not be there. Nevertheless, if the university will only remove or change the false statement in question, which is still available in its website, the plaintiffs are open to dropping the lawsuit.

Way back in May, the family of the two students who were fatally shot to death while sitting on a parked BMW in 2700 block of Raymond Avenue, just three-quarters of a mile away from the university, filed the lawsuit. Unfortunately, after several months the lawsuit has been dismissed.

It could be remembered that in their lawsuit, the plaintiffs accused the USC of misrepresentation, claiming that it misleads the people by declaring in its official website that the campus was the safest among the universities and colleges across the country. Also, the lawsuit claimed that the USC failed to provide a 24-hour security inside the campus and in its surroundings.

Incidentally, in a report released by a Time analysis of crime data, Adams-Mormandie, the neighborhood which lies near USC ranks fifth in the list of most violent areas within Los Angeles. Consequently, during the trial, the university’s attorney claimed that the killing was purely a random violent act and does not represent the safety of USC or the neighborhoods across the campus.

Apparently, pursing a wrongful death claim is never easy. Aside from coping with the loss of their loved one, the plaintiffs have to deal with the lawsuit’s expenses, said by a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.