A involving a 2009 wrongful death suit, recently wrapped up in favor of Harvard, the institution in which the suit was filed against. Ivo Labar, attorney at law, works hard to fight wrongful death cases.
Wrongful death. There are many causes to this claim and many ways to argue it, but what happens when wrongful death is dismissed? In a case that recently closed involving a shooting at Harvard University, Harvard was brought up on charges of negligence that may have caused the death of a student. Ivo Labar, a partner in a law practice in San Francisco, is well versed in wrongful death suits. He believes that it’s important to get justice for a family when a loved one is killed in a case of wrongful death.
The case against Harvard was ultimately dismissed. According to a recent article, the 2009 shooting that took place on Harvard’s campus was due to a drug deal gone wrong. The mother of Justin Cosby filed the wrongful death suit against three Harvard employees, Dorothy A. Austin, Diana L. Eck, and dean of Lowell House, Ryan M. Spoering, where the shooting took place. The three defendants were charged with negligent behavior in allowing the shooter, Jarbrai Jordan Copney, to live in the dorms for an extended period of time.
According to the case, Copney was not a student at Harvard but was staying at the residential student facility with his girlfriend, who was a student. Although there are specific rules in the conduct handbook that address this kind of arrangement, the house masters failed to comply based on the victim’s mother’s claim. According to the handbook, any repeat guest of Lowell House, meaning a non-student, had to be officially reported to the Building Manager for safety purposes. It wasn’t reported as to whether or not the student had reported Copney’s presence to the building manager, or if the house masters and dean knew of his presence.
The night of the shooting, Cosby was on campus selling marijuana in the basement of Kirkland House. He was confronted by Copney and two other men and they demanded the rest of his supply be given to them. When Cosby refused they shot him and as he was fatally wounded, he later died. Because Cosby was fatally wounded and because his shooter had access to the campus through Lowell House, his mother believed that the Harvard employees were responsible for the safety. This does however beg the question of how Cosby got into one of the residential dorms.
The charges against Harvard were dismissed as the judge claimed it was impossible for the employees to keep Cosby secure, not knowing of his whereabouts. Furthermore, the University had no duty to protect Cosby, as he wasn’t a student. Copney was sentenced to life in prison and his companions testified against him for lighter sentencing. In any wrongful death suit its important to contact an experienced lawyer like Ivo Labar, to know your options.
Ivo Labar is an attorney and a partner at San Francisco based law firm, Kerr & Wagstaffe. He has been practicing law for many years and one of his specialties is wrongful death suits.