My Love Of The Law

Reasons That A Wrongful Death Suit May Be Justified After A College Student's Alcohol-Related Death

by Alan Medina

While many college students drink responsibly, others drink to excess — often leading to hospital visits or even death. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that more than 1,500 college students passed away as a result of alcohol in 2017, which is a statistic that would surely be a concern for any parent of a college student. If your child has recently died from drinking too much at college, legal action may be something to talk about. A suit may not be justified if your child simply got alcohol and drank excessively on their own, but there are other scenarios in which a wrongful death attorney will help you to move forward.

College Staff Looked The Other Way

A college is unlikely to officially sanction an event at which students consume alcohol, but that doesn't mean that parties and other events don't take place. It may be possible that your child consumed alcohol excessively at an event at which college staff looked the other way. For example, there might have been a party in the dorm and the floor advisors were aware that your child was drinking excessively — perhaps underage, too — but didn't take action to stop this behavior.

The Event Lacked Medical Professionals

You may have learned that your child was in considerable alcohol-related distress for a significant amount of time before receiving care. This detail may be something that encourages you to launch a wrongful death suit. You and your attorney could argue that is medical professionals — even security staff with first aid training, for example — were present at the event, they could have provided immediate care for your child, preventing their loss of life.

Staff Attempted To Cover It Up

Depending on the circumstances of your child's alcohol-related death at college, it's possible that any college staff — dorm floor advisors, for example — could have attempted to cover up some of the facts about the incident. For example, if your child died at a party and the staff quickly realized that this could lead to legal consequences, they may have tried to relocate your child to their own room, or perhaps downplay the nature of the gathering. Each of these issues is a concern, especially if your child was alive at the time and didn't receive emergency care because the staff was trying to cover things up.

For more information about wrongful death law, contact a law firm like Forstman & Cutchen LLP.