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UVA Lacrosse Lawsuit: Mom Sues School for $29M

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 07, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The University of Virginia lacrosse murder has turned into a UVA lacrosse lawsuit. The mother of Yeardley Love, the lacrosse player killed by ex-boyfriend and fellow lacrosse player George Huguely, has filed a $29 million lawsuit against the state, the school, the team's coaches and the athletics director.

The wrongful death suit accuses the group of ignoring George Huguely's erratic behavior. Coaches and administrators knew that he abused alcohol and exhibited aggressive behavior towards women, but did nothing to stop him or get him help.

More specifically, the suit alleges that the athletics department did nothing to "discipline Huguely, to suspend or remove him from the lacrosse team, to refer him for treatment or counseling for alcohol/substance abuse or anger/aggressive behavior management, or to subsequently report his potential risk of violence."

Though possibly true, it's unclear whether the school had any obligation to undertake these disciplinary measures. Yeardley's mother can only win her UVA lacrosse lawsuit if she can prove that the school and athletics department have a legal duty to ensure that athletes behave in a safe, responsible manner.

Moreover, she'll also need to show that, but for a breach of this duty, George Huguely wouldn't have killed Yeardley. This will be a difficult showing, as he took it upon himself to commit a criminal act.

Which is why Sharon Love's $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against George Huguely is likely to be much more successful. She filed a separate UVA lacrosse lawsuit against him just last week. Given that he has been convicted of Yeardley's murder, winning that suit will be a piece of cake.

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