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Parents Of Murdered University Student Can Sue the School

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January 18, 2022

In a 2017, the parents of murdered Millersville University student Karlie Hall filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school. They claimed Millersville could have prevented their daughter’s death if action had been taken after previous incidents of violence by her boyfriend. On Jan. 11 the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court was wrong when it granted Millersville’s motion for dismissal on grounds that it didn’t have notice that it could be liable under federal law for actions carried out by a non-student. The case will proceed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania unless there is an appeal. Hall’s boyfriend beat her to death in a dorm room in 2015. He was convicted in 2016 and is serving 20-40 years in prison. According to the Halls’ suit, the school’s requirement that their daughter live on campus created a “special environment” and the school “undertook a legal and constitutional responsibility” to protect student-residents “from dangers that were known or should have been known.” The suit referenced instances in which school officials were made aware of the boyfriend’s behavior.

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