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Yale University Sued for Negligence in Student’s Death

On September 13, 2009, a graduate pharmacology student of Yale University was murdered in a school laboratory, five days before she was to be married.

The victim was found dead on what was supposed to have been her wedding day. She had been strangled, and her body was hidden behind a wall in the basement of the Yale School of Medicine research lab. Raymond Clark, a lab worker who cleaned mouse cages in the research lab, pleaded guilty to murdering the student and attempting to sexually assault her; he was sentenced to 44 years in prison.

Nevertheless, despite Clark’s confession, the victim’s family is holding Yale University responsible. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the school was negligent in hiring and retaining Clark, and that their negligence was a significant factor contributing to the student’s death. Yale gave Clark a position that allowed him unsupervised access to students, and Yale was negligent in monitoring Clark’s activities while he was at work.

As a general rule, facility owners and managers are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace environment, and when they negligently fail to do so, they are responsible for the injuries caused from the unsafe conditions.

According to Bloomberg Online, Clark had previously demonstrated “aggressive behavior and a violent propensity towards women,” and Yale University knew or should have known that he posed a potential threat to students in the research laboratory. The complaint in this particular wrongful death case alleges that Yale University ought to have been aware of Clark’s potential threat, and as a result is liable for the damage he caused.

Wrongful death cases can be emotionally devastating, and our Chicago personal injury attorneys have extensive experience helping families of victims not only navigate the legal system, but obtain closure after a loved one’s wrongful death. If someone you love has been killed as a result of another’s negligence, an attorney may be able to help you determine your rights.