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Stabbing of Harvard Student Prompts Lawsuit from Family

From University Wire

The family of Harvard University student Trang Phuong Ho filed a lawsuit against the university on Wednesday, three years after she was murdered by her roommate, Sinedu Tadesse, who later committed suicide.

Ho, a junior biology concentrator at the time of her death, was stabbed 45 times on the morning of May 28, 1995. After fatally wounding Ho and injuring 26-year-old visitor Thao Nguyen, Tadesse hanged herself in the shower of her Dunster House suite.

The suit - filed in Middlesex Superior Court on behalf of the deceased's elder sister Thao Phuong Ho - alleges "wrongful death, conscious pain and suffering and emotional distress," and charges the university, as well as Dunster House Master Karel F. Liem, former Dunster House senior tutor Suzi Naiburg and Ho's entryway tutor David B. Lombard, with negligence.

Court papers said that Harvard had the "duty to maintain a reasonably safe and secure environment." The papers add that Tadesse had demonstrated "desperate and antisocial behavior" about which University officials "knew or should have known."

One of the plaintiff's attorneys, Max D. Stern, said that the family waited to file suit in order to collect evidence and prepare to enter a trial. "It took some time to investigate the matter for [the family] to decide it was something they wished to pursue," he said.

Harvard spokesman Alex Huppe declined to comment, saying that he had not yet read the suit.

[The Crimson, Feb. 19]

UC Berkeley coach under fire

The University of California, Berkeley's women's basketball coach Marianne Stanley is facing a lawsuit after an alleged racist outburst on Oct. 23 last year.

Ricky Marciano, a 34-year-old actor and UC Berkeley alumnus, said that he intends to file a suit against both Stanley and the university as early as today.

Marciano, a club member of the Recreational Sports Facility, claims that the incident occurred while Marciano and nine other men were engaged in a full-court game of pickup basketball. Members of the Cal women's basketball team began to filter onto the court for their regular practice. During a fast break, one of the men collided with a member of the Cal women's basketball team.

Marciano alleges that Stanley, incensed with the pickup players, directed condescending remarks at the group. When Marciano - who is black - turned away in disgust, he claims Stanley tore into him with a prolonged, profanity-laden tirade.

Marciano and his attorney, Clarence Livingston, said they filed the suit because the university has been unwilling to disclose what disciplinary action, if any, has been taken against Stanley.

Marciano grew frustrated when the university refused to elaborate on its investigation of Stanley after he had inquired about it in mid-December. Marciano and Livingston then made a written demand of disclosure on Jan. 27.

In the letter, Marciano and Livingston threatened to go public with the situation if not given an update of the university's investigation, and additionally demanded financial compensation for Marciano.

Stanley declined to comment.

[The Daily Californian, Feb. 19]