Mother of Rutgers student sues school for wrongful death
The mother of Kenneth Patterson, a Rutgers student who became intoxicated at a fraternity party and died after being hit by an Amtrak train while walking home, is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the University, Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) and the fraternity, according to an article from USA Today.
The lawsuit was filed by Claudia Patterson on Dec. 6, 2019, in Middlesex County Superior Court, according to the article. Rutgers and the fraternity have not filed official responses, and University spokesperson Neal Buccino did not provide additional information.
“(Rutgers) cannot comment on pending litigation,” Buccino said. “The University was deeply saddened by the death of Kenneth Patterson and offered our condolences to his family and counseling services to our students affected by this tragic loss. The University actively cooperated with the Amtrak Police Department in its investigation into his death.”
The party was hosted by Theta Delta Chi on Dec. 9, 2017, a fraternity which the lawsuit states was prohibited from sponsoring or hosting any fraternity-related events at the time, according to the article.
Kenneth Patterson left the party while still intoxicated and attempted to find his residence hall. He got lost and ended up approximately 2 miles away from campus, where he was hit by a train near the Jersey Avenue station and died, according to the article. An Amtrak worker reported seeing him trip and fall on the tracks.
The lawsuit claims the University and RUPD should have been aware of the event and failed to implement effective public safety and security measures, according to the article. The lawsuit also charges the fraternity with serving alcohol to a minor to the point of intoxication.
Both Claudia Patterson and her attorney have not commented on the case, according to the article.
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