Update 5:08 p.m.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Pratt has dismissed a negligence suit against one of the three men who was with Lauren Spierer the night of her disappearance in 2011.
Spierer’s parents, Rob and Charlene, filed the civil suit in May against Corey Rossman, Jason Rosenbaum and Michael Beth.
Citing previous cases, Pratt ruled today that Beth had no duty to care for Spierer.
Her parents had alleged that Beth had assumed “duty of care” for a visibly intoxicated Lauren when he offered her a place to sleep and then escorted her to Jason Rosenbaum’s apartment. Beth’s defense argued that Spierer and Beth had no special relationship and so Beth had not assumed legal responsibility for her despite offering her assistance.
“The judge said on public policy that it would dissuade people from rendering assistance to someone that’s obviously sick on the side of the road, that’s lost in the street,” said Beth’s attorney Greg Garrison. “You dissuade folks from being involved at all by punishing them if somebody decides later on that they didn’t do enough.”
Pratt said she would take the claims against Corey Rossman and Jason Rosenbaum under advisement and would have a ruling on the dismissal motion for them by the end of the year.
The Spierers and their attorney would not comment on the ruling.
A federal judge will consider a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer Monday.
Robert and Charlene Spierer filed the lawsuit in May, just before the two-year anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance.
The suit claims Corey Rossman, Jason Rosenbaum and Michael Beth gave Spierer alcohol despite the fact she was already intoxicated and allowed her to walk home alone on June 3, 2011. The suit alleges the men’s negligence resulted in Lauren Spierer’s disappearance, injury and death.
But lawyers for the three men argue the Spierers can’t sue for wrongful death because their daughter hasn’t been found. A person must be missing for seven years to be considered dead in Indiana.
The men also say they had no legal responsibility to care for the intoxicated Lauren Spierer. They’re asking Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to dismiss the suit.