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North Carolina Injury Blog

Suicide or Wrongful Death? When the Lines Are Blurred, Legal Help Is Crucial

Posted on May 17, 2012 2:20pm PDT

The death of a Wright State University student in 2008 is now up for legal investigation, as a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the parents of N. Conner who killed himself on March 21, 2008. According to reports concerning the incident, Conner's friend and roommate alerted campus police to the potential suicide after becoming fearful that his friend might take his life. Campus officers reportedly arrived at Conner's apartment on the lookout for any signs of suicidal tendencies based on the threats made earlier by Conner indicating that he was contemplating killing himself with helium.

After investigating the situation, officers concluded that Conner was not suicidal, dismissing the tank of helium in the Jonathan Alder High School honor graduate's dorm room. However, their inspections were clearly proven wrong, as later that evening Conner proceeded to cover his head with a bag and inhale copious amounts of helium, ultimately causing asphyxiation and death. Now, his parents, residents of Plain City, are suing the Dayton public university for wrongful death. Their claims stem from the belief that campus police failed to adhere to their duties to protect Conner from harm.

The lawsuit is one of contest, as Wright State University officials have adamantly denied any wrongdoing in the case. Instead, they are vehemently backing their belief that Conner was solely responsible for his own death. However, this is far from the feelings of Conner's parents who have openly expressed their sentiment that the officers acted negligently, thereby allowing for the death of their son when it could otherwise have been prevented. According to the Conners, the "foreseeable risk of harm" indicated by the helium tank in their son's room was dismissed too quickly.

The suit has brought attention to the fact that two of the officers who reported to the phone call made by Conner's roommate failed to follow the University's policy regarding notification to the school's wellness center. Whenever a mental health crisis is reported and responded to, it is required that the wellness center also be made aware of the incident. Unfortunately, this was not the case in the Conner incident, and it may have cost the student his life.

If the loss of your loved one calls for a wrongful death claim, then you should not hesitate to speak with a North Carolina personal injury lawyer at our office today. With the help of an associate from our firm, you can make a claim of this nature or pursue any other type of personal injury claim for which legal assistance is required. With decades of experience, we are here to help in any way possible so we encourage you to contact a North Carolina wrongful death attorney from our office as soon as possible.

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