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Tyler Clementi’s Parents Will Sue Rutgers University Over Suicide

Tyler Clementi’s parents Joseph and Jane have filed notice they plan on suing Rutgers University for failing to protect their son over “unlawful or otherwise improper acts perpetrated against.” Tyler jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge in September after his dormmate broadcast an intimate encounter to the web. According to the notice, “It appears Rutgers University failed to act, failed to put in place and/or failed to implement, and enforce policies and practices that would have prevented or deterred such acts, and that Rutgers failed to act timely and appropriately.” While no proposed dollar amount is listed, the Clementis cite their suffering, loss of companionship and support, and their financial costs. Should we assume a lawsuit against his two alleged perpetrators is en route?

By:           Max Simon
On:           Dec 21, 2010
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 48 Comments
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      I’m perplexed by this. What exactly was the school supposed to do? The two students involved that decided to stream Tyler’s encounter should be the ones held to the fire. How did the school participate exactly? Does every school have FULL control over it’s students? Is the school administration in every room monitoring what each student is doing – no, they’re not. When does personal responsibility come into play? The students that took it upon themselves to activate Tyler’s web-cam and invade his privacy are the real culprits here. Target these jerks!!

      I really sympathize with Joseph’s and Jane’s loss, but to start blanketing lawsuits in lieu of their son’s suicide is a bit desperate. In the end, to be realistic…it was Tyler who decided to take his own life. If each one of us leaped to our death over life’s more serious challenges, there would be no one left on earth. Life is tough sometimes, we get that. But don’t go after a school that clearly could not have prevented this horrific act. I have always felt there is more to this story than is being reported. Something just seems off kilter. What is the world coming to?

      Dec 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      First of all, i would like to say that i heard a rumor that his parents might be somewhat of the religious fundamentalist type. I do not know if that is true but i do not think they should pursue this. Tyler Clementi was all over sex sites exposing himself well before this incident and that is all gonna be used against him if Rutgers University goes to trial. Even Queerty had an erotic photo of him in front of a webcam the day after he died. If a straight person who was jerkin off and hookin up online open for anyone to view committed suicide because of some shitty roommate who violated his/her privacy, i do not think people would hold Rutgers University responsible at all. Most people do not know the history of his online ventures. Sorry folks but that is going to be used against his memory. Also, this person was an adult, however young and is not a minor that the parents have a right to collect on behalf of. Tyler was not a spouse that furnished companionship to his parents nor was he financially supporting them so i do not see this unfolding in their favor. They probably are hoping for an undisclosed settlement before it goes any further. Either way, if equality is the issue we are seeking then ask yourself if a straight boys family would be paid off for their sorrow under the exact same circumstances? If so then i admit i am wrong and they deserve something.

      Dec 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch... (John From England)
      Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch... (John From England)

      You are both missing the point. The fact is they have a case. The school should’ve have proper procedures for bullying someone because they are black, gay or disabled.

      It doesn’t matter if Tyler was a porn star-it’s his right and he is in control of how he shows his body.

      It’s like saying wll the b*tch deserved it because she wore a short skirt and I’m sure youbagree Ewe that many women deserve what they get. It was like in that Jodie foster movie the Accused when she got gang taped but she was dancing very provocatively as well as being a slut….so? That film was done in what, 20 years ago? Yet people like Ewe still have the unshakeable judgemental believe that only people who live their lives by the laws of puritans should be protected.

      There were those naked pictus of Cheyenne Jackson in those hook up sites, so you think he would be okay if he was filmed by some of his work colleagues having sex and then they broadcasted it around their circle making fun of him because he is gay?

      Dec 22, 2010 at 8:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #3 – no, the point is the SCHOOL didn’t do the filming, the fellow students did. I’ve been reading the news for many years now and people tend to sue those with the deepest pockets, very often not the perpetrators which makes their motives suspect.

      For example, I knew a man whose son was running through the school being chased. He happened to run into the gym, fell into the pool, hit his head and drowned. Now, it is a terrible thing that his son drowned, but who was responsible for bullying? Who left the door open to the pool? This man wasn’t even in contact with his son – the boy lived with his mother. But after the lawsuit, this man bought an apartment building, several new cars….(who paid – YOU did, the taxpayers of that school district) But the main point is the people responsible didn’t pay a dime nor get in trouble.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 8:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brett
      Brett

      I can’t see how they’ll win. Unless Tyler filed a complaint, how would the school know that his roommate had been spying on him? It’s not like the dorm administrators are telepathic.

      Doesn’t the school already have anti-discrimination policies?

      Dec 22, 2010 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      I am very sad and sorry for the parents who lost their son. But, and this is a big but, how in the world could the school have stopped two students from doing what they did to this young man? Honestly, is it now a police state people expect us to be in and big brother to control all our actions?

      If anyone is to be sued, it should be the two students who were did the deed. The school cannot be held responsible for the actions of its students. The students were all over the age of 18 and they are adults and as such, they should face the consequences of their actions as adults.

      This is rather like saying my parents are responsible for my actions and I’m well over the age of 18.

      Again, I am very sorry for their loss – I cannot imagine the grief and pain this has caused, but, what purpose will this lawsuit serve other tan to create another layer of rules, regulations and ‘big brother-itis?’

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      The question and potential liability is weather or not the school had a policy for dorms which attempted to deal with issues of privacy. ALSO.. if it was the school’s internet connection that was used, is there a policy about appropriate use of bandwidth. Of course, I think that ultimate culpability is with the two murderers.. but in this day and age, institutions must have policies regarding the use of technology. And John is 100% correct, even if he is British; just because you put yourself out there doesn’t give anyone else the right to do so. It’s the ultimate “if she didn’t want to get fucked, why did she wear a red dress?” argument.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @GlacierGuy: The two people that perpetrated this act don’t have as deep of pockets as the university.

      Lets call this what it really is. The same parents that had a son that killed himself instead of facing up to the reality that he was gay (which means his parents did a HORRIBLE job in raising him and are most likely behind door bigots) are trying to cash in and get rich over the death of their son.

      It is not the universities role to police the behavior of adults or to prevent suicides they had no hand in causing.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @ewe: Their son decided to leap off a bridge because Mommy and Daddy found out he liked other boys. I don’t think you need to hear rumors to know that Mommy and Daddy are “religious” fundamentalist bigots.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @GlacierGuy: Said…. ”
      I’m perplexed by this. What exactly was the school supposed to do?”
      _____________________

      He reported the incident and the school didn’t respond. Trust me, if a female dorm resident reported that a film of her in her room was being broadcast they would have jumped on it. He reported it, the school did nothing, didn’t talk to RAvi and Molly, didn’t contact Tyler for follow-up. Universities have lost duties to protect cases before in cases of rape non response, alcohol poisoning etc…, when the students were residents in the dorm.

      Whatever you think of the case, the parents definitly have a case that can survive a motion to dissmiss.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      Great that we have so many well trained psychiatrists and lawyers on here who know why the young man did what he did and know the parents’ legal rights.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GregorVonK
      GregorVonK

      I do recall that Tyler reported something of the incident to his RA, but I’m not sure what follow up there may have been. Since the whole incident transpired over the course of 3 days, I’m not sure what university officials knew or could have reasonably have done. If the RA failed to follow up on the incident, there MAY be some legal rationale for assigning Rutgers some responsibiity, but realistically, the administation likely did not have much awareness of the situation.

      I also don’t know if we should be speculating on the Clementis motives, religious beliefs or the extent of their grief. Unless you know the family, you cannot know what’s prompting them. But I will say that, at first blush, a suit against the university is a bit troubling.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Cam – you’re almost always thoughtful and knowledgeable in your replies, but I think even if Tyler did report it (are we sure he did?) and the school did nothing, the humilation was a fait accompli. I don’t think you could prove in court that when only three days went by that the school is culpable, even if under other circumstances it might be or should be. How fast is fast enough? How much “action/intervention” is enough? Ultimately the decision to kill oneself rests with that individual. (although I would take into consideration as extenuating circumstances such as the young teenager, i.e. the girl who was bullied by her neighbors on facebook)

      Dec 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Markie-Mark
      Markie-Mark

      CAM is right: Tyler reported the incident to the RA and requested to be moved out of the room that he shared with the perpetrator. The RA took the complaint seriously and reported it to the University President. 24 hours later when there was NO RESPONSE from the University Tyler killed himself. If the University had moved Tyler out of the room immediately, as they should have and would have done for a heterosexual in a similar situation, Tyler would be alive today. The parents have an EXCELLENT case. And the University is whining that 24 hours was not enough time for them to respond to criminal activity and move him out of that room.

      Meanwhile, I find it shocking that so many commentors are so negative to Tyler and his family and so willing to excuse the University’s behavior. Don’t you people have an ounce of charity or decency in your hearts? You really are sickening and should be ashamed of yourselves.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rowan
      rowan

      @Fitz: yeah, but the current narrative that Tyler Clementi was driven to suicide by being outed by his roommate is about to take a beating. If Tyler was so closeted, why was he jerking off online? the truth is, no one knows why he committed suicide but everyone wants to connect his suicide to his roommate spying on him via his webcam.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rowan
      rowan

      @Cam: what makes you so sure that if Tyler were female that the schools response would be any different? Women on college campuses around the country report incidents of rape that often fall on deaf ears.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rowan
      rowan

      @Markie-Mark: the roommate didn’t catch Tyler in the middle of an explicit sex act, he was merely making out with some dude he met online. Let’s not forget that Tyler regularly jerked it online. definitely weakens the family’s argument. Ravi could argue that Tyler and his antic created a hostile and sexually aggressive environment. After all, he was constantly masturbating online and inviting potentially dangerous men he met online into a private college dormitory and depriving Ravi of not only his room, but placing his life in jeopardy.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      It was effed up what the roommate did and unfortunate that Tyler wasn’t able to just let it go, learn a lesson, come out and move on. But how is the University at fault?!!? 80% of the reason 18-21 year olds go to college is because society doesn’t want to deal with their nonsense. Send em to college, let em grow up and then join society. I find this law suit nothing more then the parents continuing a victimization which they hold part responsibility.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      The same parents that raised a child with such low self esteem that he killed himself over something so trivial are now looking for a payday? I suggest they look at themselves and come to terms with their role in the matter. Maybe if they had been open enough where he felt he could talk to them about the matter he wouldn’t have killed himself.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch… (John From England): You miss the point. The crime was committed by a roommate who had legal access to Tylers space. There is just no possible way Rutgers could be considered even negligent.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @rowan: what does what you say have anything to do with Ravi transmitting what he sees into another room for him and his friend and the rest of anyone online to view?

      Dec 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Daez: i say it is a rumor because i do not personally know the parents.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      This is ridiculous. The University doesn’t become liable just because it didn’t move Clementi out of his room w/in 24 hours of a roommate complaint to an RA, and he then decided to kill himself. The family would need to show that he actually requested to move out, which I understand from his JustUsBoys comments, he did not. They also would need to show that there was some indication that Clementi might commit suicide. There was none, as far as has been reported. The university is not charged with acting as though every incident b/t students is a potential suicide or homicide waiting to happen. There has to be some notice.

      The serious lawsuits will be against the schools that did nothing for months while Asher Brown and Billy Lucas were violently assaulted on a daily basis. Those are real cases and those schools had better be ready to get their asses kicked. But this case will be dismissed.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rowan
      rowan

      @ewe: well it was Ravi’s room also. He didn’t place a spycam in Tyler’s private room. He merely turned his own webcam on, and aimed it toward the opposite side of the room. the media has blown this entire incident out of proportion

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 23 · Brian wrote, “This is ridiculous. The University doesn’t become liable just because it didn’t move Clementi out of his room w/in 24 hours of a roommate complaint to an RA, and he then decided to kill himself.”

      There’s something called “joint and several liability”, described in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_and_several_liability#Joint_and_several_liability to give you a quick overview. If Rutgers is 1% responsible for some reason, it may still have to pay most of the damages (e.g., if the other far more culpable parties cannot). Because of that, lawyers may add a person or some organization to a lawsuit even if they were only peripherally involved.

      No. 19 · Jon wrote, “The same parents that raised a child with such low self esteem that he killed himself over something so trivial are now looking for a payday?”

      Jon, you are jumping to conclusions – you are assuming the suicide was due to his roommate using a web cam to watch him kissing another guy or maybe due to being gay. The suicide could have been due to something else. For example, did his roommate threaten to show everyone explicit photos (like the one that Ewe stated that QUEERTY showed) that the victim probably thought were anonymous? Who knows how much prying his roommate actually did beyond the web-cam incident that was highly publicized.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @rowan: please. Do finish the act won’t you? Elaborate on what he did next? That is not the fault of Rutgers but most certainly may be a crime committed by Ravi. If you are my roommate, it does not give you the legal right to invade my privacy and broadcast it for consumption by others without my consent. Your privacy does not trump mine but mine overrules yours if it is you violating me.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch… (John From England): I only said that whatever occurred does not fall at the feet of Rutgers University. Believe me i don’t give a shit if you get fisted by a foot if that turns you on. I have not ever been accused of being puritan. You are the one who wants to hold accountable an entity (in this case an institution) responsible for something they have no say in.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Markie-Mark: 24 hours later? Are you out of your mind? Where and when does ANYTHING get done within 24 hours? Whatever you say means little because if i was a juror i would not hold Rutgers responsible for the suicide of someone simply because it took longer than 24 hours to find new living quarters.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 28 · ewe wrote, “if i was a juror i would not hold Rutgers responsible for the suicide of someone simply because it took longer than 24 hours to find new living quarters.”

      As I recall, the complaint was emailed in the evening, after most administrators would have left work. By the time they would have had a chance to see it (and that ignores all the other email queued up, time spent in meetings, etc.), they probably had less than 8 hours to do something before the suicide occurred, and with no indication that the situation was particularly urgent.

      Remember also that these are college students old enough to be legally adults in most of the U.S. (exceptions: Alabama, Nebraska, and Mississippi), and the “in loco parentis” doctrine as applied to colleges and universities went out of favor in the 1960s.

      Dec 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rowan
      rowan

      @ewe:when ravi and wei logged on they only saw tyler making out with a dude, and later, much later ravi tweeted about it, that was the extent of that episode.i’m sure his ego was bruised but tyler himself was an exhibitionist who engaged in far more explicit sexual acts on cam4. i think we can both agree that rutgers holds no liability, i just happen to disagree with the narrative that tyler was driven to jump off the GW bridge because his roommate saw him making out with a dude, and one that paints ravi and wei as bullies.

      Dec 23, 2010 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Apparently we will never know the unvarnished truth, or get the unadulterated story here. But did I read correctly that Tyler complained to the RA, wrote about his privacy being invaded on Justusboys and then had sex again in his room? Knowing his privacy was being compromised? There must be much more to this story. Someone let me know if I got this wrong….

      Dec 23, 2010 at 1:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      when I said “here” I didn’t mean Queerty, I just meant we would never get to the whole truth.

      Dec 23, 2010 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 31 · Jaroslaw wrote, “Apparently we will never know the unvarnished truth, or get the unadulterated story here. But did I read correctly that Tyler complained to the RA, wrote about his privacy being invaded on Justusboys and then had sex again in his room? Knowing his privacy was being compromised? There must be much more to this story. Someone let me know if I got this wrong….”

      You may get a lot closer to the unvarnished truth after Ravi’s or Wei’s trial. Given the exhibitionist tendencies rowan noted (and this might have just been a “phase” the victim was going through while still in high school), it is possible that Ravi (Wei?) did some “opposition research” and tied those pictures or some other information to the victim, and then possibly threatened to use that information.

      At this point, we can merely guess. Because of a criminal investigation/prosecution, however, the D.A. has probably confiscated Ravi’s and/or Wei’s computers and is having the hard disks analyzed. Even if you clear cookies, browsing history, etc., that information may still be on the disk – when you delete a file, disk blocks are typically put on some sort of a free list without wiping out the existing data (for performance reasons – users expect deleting a file to be a fast operation). If they are lucky, it may be possible to recover some information not normally accessible and thus find out more about what actually went on.

      So, my advise is to wait until the trial before coming to conclusions – more information about what actually happened may be available then.

      Dec 23, 2010 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Good points B, but then again – what is admissible evidence, what is not, what lawyers can do may change the final (publicaly accessible) landscape a lot.

      I remember many years ago I lived in a rural area and of course, everyone knew everyones’ business. There was a certain young man that got a certain girl pregnant and the families pressured them to get married. Said girl/woman proceeded to slut around and cause this man great distress to his manhood and family reputation. There were many other issues too -she spent $$ like there was no tomorrow. The man flipped out, stabbed her, dumped her in the gravel pit down the road from my Uncle’s house. She managed to crawl out and the news proclaimed “poor innocent mother of two found in gravel pit….” Now of course, I’m not excusing cold blooded attempted murder, but she was far from innocent. When you live in a small town and everyone talks about you daily, and you can’t pay the bills etc. it is very difficult.
      Reminds me also of that tourist that got killed by the tiger at the zoo last year. Well he taunted the tiger, tiger jumps over fence. Yeah. zoo shouldhave had better fence, but tourist has some responsibility too.

      Dec 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @rowan: that is not the whole story

      Dec 24, 2010 at 7:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Jaroslaw: so nothing you say gives Ravi permission to violate his privacy beyond that space. Nothing. Tylers sexual escapades mean nothing morally but it will be and should be brought to light if Rutgers is defending itself. I certainly would make sure to use computer forensics if i was being wrongly accused.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 7:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Markie-Mark:

      No, the parents do NOT have an excellent case, absent serious proof that Rutgers deliberately stonewalled moving Tyler. The school would have needed reasonable time to investigate, and 24 hours is simply not enough time to do that investigation.

      @B:

      You need to do you homework better, that’s NOT how joint and several liability works in the state of New Jersey. In NJ, a defendant determined to be less than 60% at fault is responsible only for the proportion of negligence attributed to him or her. If the defendant is determined to be 60% or more at fault, that defendant will be subject to joint and several liability.

      I think it’s going to be tough to attribute 60% fault to Rutgers University at the end of the day. I’m not sure you can attribute *any* fault to Rutgers at the end of the day, to be perfectly honest.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 8:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @B:

      @B and @ Dr:

      Joint and several liability speaks to the apportionment of responsibility, and thus the apportionment of damages, among multiple defendants that have been determined by a judge or jury to be liable to some degree. That is really not relevant to what we are debating here, which is whether Rutgers could be held liable at all. If a defendant wins its case on liability, then the joint and several concept does not apply to it.

      In this case, where Rutgers had, as far as I know, absolutely no reason to believe that Clementi was suicidal, and where Clementi was not even certain that he wanted to leave the dorm, I find it very difficult to conceive of how Clementi’s parents could prevail. If Clementi were alive and was suing Rutgers for distress he suffered over the taping, I would say that that would be a difficult case, but a win would not be out of the question. But to hold Rutgers liable for a suicide on the facts as have been reported here so far? No way. Not a chance.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Brian:

      Relevant or not, I’m fed up with people who spew legalese without doing their homework, which Marky didn’t do. If they want to talk like an attorney and throw around specific legal concepts, then they better do their homework, and until you’re officially appointed the Queerty hall monitor, I’ll continue to make those corrections.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 38 · Brian wrote, “Joint and several liability speaks to the apportionment of responsibility, and thus the apportionment of damages, among multiple defendants that have been determined by a judge or jury to be liable to some degree. That is really not relevant to what we are debating here, which is whether Rutgers could be held liable at all.”

      It’s relevant to why a lawyer might include Rutgers in the lawsuit. I didn’t know about the 60% rule in New Jersey (this stuff differs from state to state in any case), but the point was that the lawyer had a rational reason for including Rutgers in the suit, and it costs the lawyer nothing extra to include the university in a list of defendants.

      Even if he can convince a jury that Rutgers is only 10% responsible, that 10% might be more than you could get out of the individual(s) who are really responsible – those two students undoubtedly have hardly any financial assets and they have presumably reached the “age of majority” so you can’t get it from their parents.

      I’d agree with Brian’s assessment of Rutger’s actual responsibility, but then there is the “sympathy factor” that sometimes influences a jury, plus a possible desire of an institution to settle for PR reasons or to avoid legal costs, even if the institution could win in court.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @DR:

      Don’t get upset on Xmas! I wasn’t objecting to your correcting Mikey. By all means, correct away! Actually, I think you are one of the more intelligent and thoughtful commenters on this blog.

      Before Queerty hires hall monitors, it should first hire some proof-readers, editors, and well, writers.

      @B:
      Sure, if hypothetically they can nail Rutgers on something, then J&S liability likely would work to their advantage. But unless there is some new fact that casts Rutgers in a different light, it won’t be liable. And while you can never say for certain what anyone might do in litigation, it would be really dumb to settle here. If the facts as reported so far is all there is and nothing new is forthcoming, then the claim won’t reach a jury. So there would be no sympathy factor. And if there are no further facts, and thus no trial on the horizon, then there really would be no PR problem either. But who knows? Sometimes litigants make really puzzling decisions.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Brian: Can someone just throw in a NJ statute we can read and be done with it? thanks.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @ewe: §2A:15-5.2. Defendants only responsible for share of fault if less than 60%. Defendants found more than 60% at fault subject to modified rule.

      I didn’t cite chapter numbers but posted the definition verbatim.

      @Brian:

      I’m not upset, just get tired of people who think that they’re smarter than the attorneys handling the cases Queerty posts about. People spend years in an educational setting to become a doctor, lawyer, architect, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc, but it’s only law that everyone thinks they can jump in and wax philosophical about.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @DR: thank you for the statute. I would like to say that my own experience is that some lawyers are shit heads just like everyone else i suppose. There are many attorneys that suck and are not all that bright. I say thank goodness there is new blood all the time because many attorneys are burnt out and just plain ol fucking evil. I speak from my own experience. Those lawyers we call judges are even worse at the local and county levels. Disgraceful.

      Dec 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      @B: My point was that if the child was raised properly he wouldn’t have killed himself…a well adjusted human being doesn’t do that kind of thing.

      Dec 25, 2010 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 41 · Brian wrote, “@B: Sure, if hypothetically they can nail Rutgers on something, then J&S liability likely would work to their advantage. But unless there is some new fact that casts Rutgers in a different light, it won’t be liable.”

      Naming Rutgers in the suit allows the lawyers to use ‘discovery’ to see if there is in fact something they can use to their advantage. They may not get that information (assuming there is any) otherwise. If there was an earlier letter to university officials that nobody’s mentioned, for example, you are unlikely to find that without discovery.

      No. 45 · Jon wrote, “@B: My point was that if the child was raised properly he wouldn’t have killed himself…a well adjusted human being doesn’t do that kind of thing.”

      Jon, you have no idea of (a) the reason for the suicide (everyone is just guessing) and (b) how the victim was raised.

      Dec 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      @B: The end result speaks for itself.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MattGMD
      MattGMD

      I fail to see where Rutgers could have expected or prevented either the invasion of privacy or the suicide. I wonder if there was some ongoing harassment that he didn’t tell his parents about or report to the school and the webcam incident was the proverbial ‘last straw’? One has to consider that his reaction to commit suicide is acutely disproportionate to the webcam incidents.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 5:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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