State moves to dismiss suit against USU

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — The Utah attorney general’s office wants a court to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Utah State University over the death of a freshman student. Michael Starks died from alcohol poisoning Nov. 21. The 18-year-old was pledging to join the Sigma Nu fraternity. Starks’ parents filed a lawsuit in August. Their attorneys have said that the university’s “benign neglect” contributed to Starks’ death and that the university allowed the conduct at the fraternity to continue through years of inaction. But Assistant Utah Attorneys General Steven Combe and Reed Stringham say in an 11-page memo filed last week in 1st District Court that USU is immune from suit under the Governmental Immunity Act of Utah. They ask the court to dismiss the suit with prejudice, meaning it could not be refiled if dismissed.

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