Lauren McCluskey’s Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against The University Of Utah
Jun 8, 2020, 10:07 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2022, 6:32 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — The parents of Lauren McCluskey have filed a second lawsuit against the University of Utah, claiming not only did the university fail Lauren, but it’s failing all women.
Jill McCluskey said the thinks the university police didn’t take Lauren seriously because she was a woman.
“Everyone let Lauren down,” said Jill.
The wrongful death suit states the university has shown a pattern with discriminating against women, and it needs to stop.
“A lawsuit is our last resort, but that’s a way we need to do it to make change,” she said.
McCluskey said the lawsuit filed Monday is meant to hold those who failed Lauren accountable — namely the University of Utah, the university police department, some individual officers, and the State of Utah.
“We want the University of Utah and Ruth Watkins to say that they’re responsible,” said Jim McConkie, the McCluskey family’s attorney. “That if they had taken this case seriously when she began presenting her concerns for safety, that we never would have had a murder.”
Part of the lawsuit alleges that university officials had a pattern of minimizing claims reported by women.
McCluskey said their negligence led to her daughter’s murder.
“I definitely think they didn’t take Lauren seriously as a woman, and there have been a number of stories that have shown a pattern there, that when women come and complain about sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, all sorts of things, they aren’t taken seriously,” she said.
The lawsuit asks for $56 million, money the McCluskeys said will go towards making campuses safer for young women.
The family said they don’t want Lauren’s death to be in vain.
“I just hope that we can make a difference with this lawsuit, and it will cause them to take women more seriously in the future,” said Jill.
KSL reached out to the University of Utah. They said their attorneys are reviewing the new lawsuit, and will comment after they’ve filed a response in court.