Megan Rondini's family files wrongful death suit against UA employeesBy Jake Stevens | 07/05/2017 8:36pm
Updated (12:05 p.m., 7/4/17):
The parents of Megan Rondini, The University of Alabama student who recently died by suicide, have filed a federal wrongful death suit against employees of The University of Alabama, members of the Tuscaloosa Sheriff's Department and Terry Bunn Jr.
Rondini was the subject of a recent Buzzfeed article in which she accused Bunn Jr. of rape.
The lawsuit's preliminary statements establish that the Rondini family is seeking damages arising "from the sexual assault of Megan Rondini by Terry Jackson Bunn, Jr.," who is later described in the court document as "well connected and powerful in the Tuscaloosa community."
Furthermore, the suit seeks damages from Beth Howard, UA's Title IX Coordinator, and Cara Blakes of the Women and Gender Resource Center. According to the suit, Blakes "deliberately and repeatedly denied services and mishandled accommodations with hostility."
The lawsuit additionally seeks damages from Sheriff Ronald Abernathy, who, according to the suit "failed to assure proper training and supervision of the personnel and employees, and to implement practices, policies, and procedures to discourage lawless official conduct," as well as from Investigator Adam Jones and Deputy Joshua Hastings, who according to the suit "deliberately failed to practice and provide proper investigations to complainants."
On June 23, the University responded to media reports regarding Rondini's sexual assault and subsequent mistreatment, issuing a statement offering sympathy for Rondini's friends and family but disputing some of the facts of the Buzzfeed story.
As reported by AL.com, Rondini family attorney Leroy Maxwell Jr. said that the goal of the wrongful death suit is "shining a bright light on a tragic yet preventable situation."
The New York Times reported that a lawyer for Bunn Jr. denied the suit's sexual assault allegations, saying "The allegations against my client as set forth in this baseless lawsuit are simply false."
The Crimson White has reached out to the parties involved for further comment. This story will be updated as new information becomes available.