INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit to move forward against two men who were with a 20-year-old Indiana University student before she disappeared in 2011.
The parents of Lauren Spierer filed the lawsuit against former IU students Jason Rosenbaum and Corey Rossman. U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled Monday that the parents can sue on counts alleging negligence and damages for providing drinks to someone who already was intoxicated.
The judge dismissed a third count that alleged the two men were responsible for the loss of a child's services, noting that Spierer was an adult when she disappeared, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1cP8xJg ).
Her parents, Charlene and Robert Spierer of Greenburgh, N.Y., sued the men for not ensuring their incapacitated daughter returned safely to her apartment after a night of partying in Bloomington. They allege Rosenbaum provided alcoholic drinks at his apartment and Rossman later did the same at Kilroy's Sports Bar in Bloomington.
During a hearing in the case earlier this month, Pratt dismissed a third defendant, Michael Beth, from the case, ruling he was not liable for his actions. Beth offered Spierer a place to sleep after his roommate, Rossman, brought her intoxicated to their apartment. When Spierer refused the offer, Beth escorted her down the hall to Rosenbaum's apartment.
The Spierers have long maintained that the men haven't fully cooperated with investigators and hope the lawsuit will force them to answer questions under oath.
"This ruling confirms that our lawsuit has merit and that we're entitled to ask important questions of these defendants and other witnesses," Jeanine Kerridge, the Spierers' attorney, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "We respected the defendants' right to seek a dismissal and we now hope the defendants will respect our right to full and complete discovery that our system of justice allows us to receive."
Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday for attorneys representing Rosenbaum and Rossman.
No criminal charges have been filed in Spierer's disappearance on June 3, 2011. There has been no sign of her despite numerous searches around Bloomington and the surrounding wooded countryside, which is dotted with lakes and water-filled old limestone quarries about 40 miles south of Indianapolis.
Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com