State AG’s office defends request to dismiss Lauren McCluskey lawsuit

Sep 27, 2019, 5:22 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office is defending its decision to ask a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parents of murdered University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey.

The McCluskeys are suing the University of Utah for $56 million, saying the school has not taken responsibility for Lauren’s death last year. She had reported her ex-boyfriend, Melvin Rowland, to campus police over 20 times before her murder.

Rowland took his own life shortly after police say he killed Lauren McCluskey in October 2018.

But the attorney general’s office argues federal law prevents a school from being sued if a campus police officer or other staff member fails to protect a student from someone who does not attend that school.

Their statement reads:

[Our] brief filed with the federal court explains that neither Title IX nor the U.S. Constitution permit lawsuits for money damages when campus police or staff do not prevent a student from being harmed by an intruder on campus. As the motion makes clear, the McCluskeys’ legal theories are unprecedented–no court has concluded that a school is liable under Title IX or the U.S. Constitution in these circumstances.

The attorney general’s office statement also hit back at recent suggestions from the McCluskeys’ lawyers, saying their motion “was not meant to, and did not, blame the victim, dismiss the importance of campus safety, or minimize in any way the terrible tragedy of Lauren McCluskey’s death.”

The statement also leaves open the possibility that the McCluskeys and the University of Utah could still work on a settlement if the lawsuit is dismissed.

Today’s Top Stories


Former President Donald Trump is pictured....
Katelyn Polantz, Zachary Cohen, Sara Murray and Marshall Cohen, CNN

FBI took 11 sets of classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, including some highly classified material

The search warrant identifies three federal crimes that the DOJ is looking at as part of its investigation, which includes violations of the Espionage Act.
1 day ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police just made an arrest in the recent hit and run...
Samantha Herrera

Police arrest suspect in West Valley hit-and-run that killed 11-year-old boy

A 45-year-old man has been arrested in relation to a hit and run in West Valley City that killed an 11-year-old boy.
1 day ago
garland unseal Trump...
Tierney Sneed, CNN

Merrick Garland says FBI files motion to unseal Trump Mar-a-Lago warrant

The move comes after days of silence from the Justice Department regarding the search, as is the department's practice for ongoing investigations.
2 days ago
A Utah lawmaker is considering proposing an amendment to the state's constitution if the trigger la...
Simone Seikaly

Utah Attorney General asks for permission to appeal trigger law injunction

The injunction bars enforcement of SB 174, Utah's abortion "trigger law" until a lawsuit in district court is resolved.
2 days ago
A jury of six women and four men was selected Wednesday in Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Los Ang...
By Eric Levenson, Natasha Chen and Jason Kravarik, CNN

Jury selected in Vanessa Bryant’s case against LA County over photos of Kobe’s helicopter crash

A jury of six women and four men was selected Wednesday in Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Los Angeles County over gruesome photos taken of the fatal helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe, daughter Gianna and seven others.
2 days ago
Prosecutors seek 8-year prison term for police officer involved with Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol...

Feds seek 8-year prison term for officer who stormed Capitol

Prosecutors say former Rocky Mount Police Sgt. Thomas Robertson used his law enforcement training to block police officers who were trying to protect the Capitol from a mob’s attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

State AG’s office defends request to dismiss Lauren McCluskey lawsuit