The estate of a Massachusetts woman struck and killed by a rental truck in a tailgating area at a Yale-Harvard football game has filed a lawsuit against U-Haul company, Brendan Ross (the driver), Yale University, the City of New Haven, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and several others. The estate of Nancy Barry alleged in the lawsuit, filed in New Haven Superior Court, that negligence on the part of the Defendants contributed to Ms. Barry’s 2011 death. Ross, a student, was driving the rental truck carrying beer kegs through a popular tailgating area before the game. He turned a corner and sped up, striking Ms. Barry and two other women. Ross pleaded guilty to traveling too fast and unsafe starting.
At the time Yale allowed student organizations to rent large trucks for tailgating parties. Ross’ fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, rented the truck. When you consider that a college student was trying to maneuver a large truck through tight spaces in streets and parking lots covered with pedestrians, party-goers and other traffic, this was trouble waiting to happen.
It should be noted that Yale has tightened its tailgating rules since the incident. The school now bans kegs at university athletic events and other functions. Also, oversized vehicles, such as box trucks and large commercial vehicles, are barred from university lots at athletic events unless they are driven by a preapproved authorized vendor.
The lawsuit also names Contemporary Services Corp., a security and management company, as a Defendant. It was alleged that the company’s staff was late and the company set up an identification checkpoint too close to passing vehicles. Paul T. Edwards, a lawyer with Deskin, Edwards, and Clark, located in Woodbridge, Conn., represents Ms. Barry’s estate in the lawsuit.
Source: Claims Journal
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