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Parents of Slain USC Students File a Lawsuit Against University

A lawsuit against the University of Southern California* was filed in the aftermath of the shooting of two international graduate students from China. The engineering students were found dead in their parked BMW around 1am on April 11th near the USC campus after an apparent botched carjacking attempt.

While the perpetrator of the crime has not yet been apprehended, the parents of the two students have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university, basing their claim on what they believe is the university’s misrepresentation of the safety of the USC campus. According to a Huffington Post article, “In the official filing, the complaint called for action based on “intentional misrepresentation” and negligence. The complaint pointed out that USC’s website “extols the virtues of the school” and purports to be among the nation’s safest campuses. “USC is not one of the safest U.S. universities and colleges,” the filing continued, “and does not provide twenty four hour law enforcement services in the surrounding neighborhoods and is in a high crime area.”

A Courthouse News article provides specifics on the type of misrepresentation the slain students’ parents believe occurred: “The USC website says that the school is located in a ‘very urban neighborhood,’ and describes University Park as ‘an urban oasis of courtyards and parks,’ the complaint states. But (the students) parents say ‘urban’ has a different meaning in China, where such neighborhoods are viewed as safe places to live. ‘USC has offices in China and has large numbers of Chinese students and are well aware how the word ‘urban’ will be understood by prospective Chinese applicants,’ the lawsuit states.” This essentially accuses USC of a pattern of misrepresentation about the safety of the university’s surroundings, through an exploitation of linguistic differences.

The lawsuit against university officials should be addressed and decided shortly.

File a Lawsuit against a Negligent Party

When you file a lawsuit against a negligent party it will hopefully result in a certain measure of recovery for your loss. Wrongful death claims can mean that family members may be entitled to recover for several types of damages and losses, including:

  • The pain, suffering and grief of the surviving family members. Family members have a right to a monetary recovery for the pain of having to go through a tragic experience.
  • Funeral expenses. Almost immediately after a tragic loss, family members have to incur significant expense for a funeral.
  • Medical bills and expenses. In many wrongful death cases, the medical bills incurred before a family member passes away can be extremely expensive, often exceeding several hundred thousand dollars.
  • Loss of consortium. You have a right to recover for the loss of no longer getting to spend and enjoy time with your loved one.
  • Loss of the future earnings of the deceased. Often the family member that passed away was earning income and family members were depending on that loved one to support the household. Family members have a right to recover that loss of future income. Economists can help determine what amount your family member would have earned during the rest of his or her life.
  • Punitive damages. During a wrongful death case, lawyers will determine whether it is appropriate to ask for leave of Court to file a punitive damages count in the lawsuit. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at fault party for intentional and/or outrageous conduct.

If you believe you need to file a lawsuit against a negligent party who may have caused the death of a family member, request a Free Case Consultation or call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a lawyer now.

*Please note, Abels & Annes PC was not involved in filing this California lawsuit. 

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