Utah admits they ‘failed’ Lauren McCluskey in $13.5 million settlement
SALT LAKE CITY — The mother and father of a College of Utah observe athlete who was killed by her ex-boyfriend on campus two years in the past reached a $13.5 million settlement Thursday with the college, which acknowledged that it didn’t deal with the lady’s case correctly.
College of Utah President Ruth Watkins and the mother and father of Lauren McCluskey introduced the settlement at a joint information convention in Salt Lake Metropolis that got here on the second anniversary of her dying. The case introduced new nationwide consideration to campus security and dating-violence points at universities, spurring a number of modifications on the College of Utah.
McCluskey, 21 of Pullman, Washington, had contacted college police greater than 20 occasions to report harassment by the person she had dated earlier than she was discovered fatally shot in a automotive close to on-campus scholar housing in October 2018
“We failed Lauren and her household,” Watkins mentioned. “If these staff had extra full coaching and protocols to information their responses, the college believes they’d have been higher geared up to guard Lauren.”
That marked a shift from what Watkins mentioned again in December 2018 when she mentioned that she hadn’t discovered something in an preliminary evaluation of the case to point McCluskey’s dying might have been prevented.
Jill and Matt McCluskey bristled at these feedback and sued the college in 2019, looking for $56 million whereas claiming the faculty was negligent in failing to guard their daughter.
An impartial evaluation commissioned by the college discovered a number of missed warning indicators earlier than Lauren McCluskey was killed by 37-year-old Melvin Shawn Rowland after she dumped him as a result of she found he had been mendacity about his identify, age and standing as a intercourse offender. Rowland took his personal life after the assault as police tracked him down.
The college pays the McCluskeys $10.5 million and provides one other $3 million to a basis based of their daughter’s identify that’s designed to enhance campus security, in addition to assist collegiate observe athletes and animal shelters. An indoor observe facility will even be constructed and named after Lauren McCluskey as a part of the settlement.
The McCluskeys mentioned all the cash will go to the Lauren McCluskey basis.
“This settlement is necessary for a lot of causes,” Jill McCluskey mentioned. “It addresses how Lauren died, however it additionally honors how she lived.”
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