May 26, 2012

Family of student in UI frat fall seeks $1 million

Associated Press
 

MOSCOW, Idaho — The family of a former University of Idaho student who was seriously injured in a 2009 fall from a fraternity house window is offering to drop their lawsuit against the Moscow school and others in exchange for a financial settlement.

The agreement proposed by the parents of Amanda Andaverde seeks $1 million in settlement money from the university, state Board of Education and the local and national chapters of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

The deal will be available for the defendants to consider until June 15, according to a court document filed May 18 in Idaho’s 2nd District Court.

As of late last week, none of the parties named in civil lawsuit filed by Andaverde and her parents, Esmeralda Banda and Raul Andaverde, had responded to the proposed settlement, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports.

The university doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Andaverde and her parents filed the lawsuit in September claiming the university, state board and several fraternities and sororities on the Moscow campus didn’t do enough to ensure the safety of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house where she was injured.

She and her family claim the fraternity is at fault because of the lack of window hardware and that as a pledge at the Delta Delta Delta sorority, Andaverde should have been protected by older members and prevented from drinking at a fraternity party the night she was injured.

The lawsuit also claims the university and the state Board of Education are responsible because they regulate the Greek system and should have known “one or more dangerous conditions existed” at the third-floor sleeping porch where Andaverde fell through the window from a bunk bed.

Andaverde, who was 19 at the time, fell 27 feet and suffered bone fractures and debilitating injuries.

The university and state board denied responsibility when responding to the lawsuit in court documents filed earlier this year. Their attorney, Thomas Creason, filed a motion earlier this month seeking a summary judgment in the case.

In his motion, Creason argued the university and state board had no duty to protect Andaverde from harm while she was not on university property.

The motion included an affidavit from the university’s Dean of Students Bruce Pitman. The university and the state board doesn’t “establish, control, regulate or supervise the policies, practices, procedures or activities of the fraternities and sororities,” Pitman said in his affidavit.

A hearing on the motion has been scheduled for July 2.

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