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Family of murdered student sues Yale for wrongful death

The family of Yale University student Annie Le, who was murdered by a fellow student and researcher at a college animal research lab, has filed a lawsuit against Yale. The wrongful death suit asserts that the university does not provide adequate protection for female students and employees, and that it is too tolerant of overly aggressive male conduct.

Le was killed two years ago by Raymond Clark III, who has been convicted of the murder. The lawsuit contends that the university failed to engage in timely measures to search for Le when it first became apparent that she was missing.

The lawsuit also states that sexual harassment of and sexual attacks on Yale's female students have been a problem at the college for some time. The school, the plaintiffs allege, has repeatedly failed to adequately discipline on male offenders.

According to the complaint, the university became aware that the student was missing after she failed to return to her residence on the evening of Sept. 8, 2009, but took no steps to look into her whereabouts until the next day.

Le was enrolled in a doctoral program in pharmacology at Yale, and was also planning to be married soon after the date she went missing. This resulted in some speculation that she was voluntarily absent and experiencing hesitations about the marriage, but that proved not to be the case.

Her dead body was discovered days later hidden in a wall in the research lab where she and Clark both worked. The lawsuit alleges that Yale University had reason to suspect that Clark was a danger to female students and co-workers, based on his past behavior which showed his violent propensities.

Clark has been sentenced to serve a sentence of 44 years in a state prison for the murder.

Source: Hartford Courant, "Annie Le's Family Sues, Saying Yale Failed to Protect Women On Campus," Alaine Griffin, Sept. 6, 2011

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