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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against USC Hits Hurdle

Paresh Dave |
November 13, 2012 | 11:30 a.m. PST

Executive Director

From the April 18 memorial on campus for Ying Wu (left) and Ming Qu (right). (Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy)
From the April 18 memorial on campus for Ying Wu (left) and Ming Qu (right). (Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy)
An attorney for the families of two Chinese graduate students killed near the University of Southern California has three weeks to file an amended lawsuit against the university for wrongful death after a judge granted on Tuesday morning USC's motion to throw out the case because it lacked a legal basis.

"This case and others like it expose a victim's damage suit for what it is ... an artificial scheme designed not to fairly assess culpability, but to reach into the deepest pocket," USC said in court documents. "Boiled down to its core elements, (the) complaint is nothing more than an attempt to try to hold USC financially responsible for damages inflicted on its students by the criminal behavior of third parties unrelated to USC."

MORE: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against USC Faces Hurdles

Wanzhi Qu and Xiaohong Fei, the father and mother of Ming Qu, and Xiyong Wu and Meinan Yin, parents of Ying Wu, filed the suit about a month after their children were killed in an carjacking incident April 11. Attorney Alan Burton Newman is pursuing the case on behalf of them.

Newman said on a phone call with Neon Tommy that the judge basically asked him to argue that claims USC makes about campus safety are "false." Newman's original complaint called the claims "misleading."

He said the change would not affect his overall argument and that he was prepared to make the amendment before the 20-day deadline.

A movie documenting the lives of Qu and Wu is expected to premiere Tuesday night.

Bryan Barnes and Javier Bolden were charged in the incident and could face the death penalty if convicted. Both are being held without bail at Men's Central Jail. A hearing in their case is expected next Tuesday.

Editor's note: The original version of this article stated, based on an incorrect City News Service report, that the judge had denied USC's request to dismiss the case.



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