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Judge to hear UI fraternity fall suit

A district court judge will hear arguments this week regarding who should be held responsible for a former University of Idaho student’s 2009 fall out of a fraternity house window in Moscow.

Judge Michael Griffin of Idaho County is scheduled to consider a university and state education board motion for summary judgment at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Latah County Second District Court. The UI and Idaho State Board of Education are asking Griffin to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by the parents of Amanda Andaverde, who was a 19-year-old UI sophomore when she accidentally fell out of a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house window in the early morning hours of Sept. 10, 2009. She had reportedly consumed alcohol at two different house parties, one of them at SAE, the night of Sept. 9.

After Andaverde inadvertently rolled off a bed and out of an open window, she fell about 25 feet to concrete and suffered serious injuries.

Raul Andaverde and Esmeralda Banda filed the lawsuit in 2011 against the UI, ISBOE, SAE fraternity and several other defendants associated with the incident, claiming the fraternity house was not equipped with adequate safety devices – like locks or stops – to prevent the bedside window from fully opening. The lawsuit also holds the UI/ISBOE at fault because it facilitates the Greek system’s presence on campus.

Lewiston attorney Theodore Creason, who is representing the UI and ISBOE in the lawsuit, asserts the university owed no special duty to protect Andaverde from harm while she was not on university property. Fraternity and sorority houses are owned by private corporations.

Last month, the university and state board rejected an offer from Andaverde’s parents to settle for $1 million.

An objection to the UI/ISBOE’s motion for summary judgment was filed July 18 by Litster Frost Injury Lawyers of Boise, which is representing Andaverde and her parents, but the document is under court seal and not accessible to the public at this time.

Creason said no evidence has been presented demonstrating the university had any involvement in or any knowledge of the party at the SAE house the night of the incident.

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