Family Sues University of Delaware for Negligence After Daughter’s Death

NEWARK, Del. – The family of a University of Delaware (UD) student, who died from a deadly mixture of drugs at the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester, is suing the university for wrongful death and negligence, according to Delaware Online.

Laura Shanks died after taking a lethal combination of cocaine and the painkiller Fentanyl. The drug was given to her by her former boyfriend, Kevin Hamilton, who had been expelled and banned from the campus after he was found with 53.4 grams of marijuana in his dormitory room.

On Aug. 28, 2006, Hamilton entered Shanks’ dormitory building without being stopped or observed by the security officers who were monitoring the area. Both ingested the same combination of the drug, but Shanks was the only one who died.

Hamilton, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to delivering the drug to the victim, was sentenced to five years in prison.

The family also accuses UD of a breach of contract for advertising that it had a “nationally renowned” security system. The suit claims the campus police are understaffed and the person-less keycard system was inadequate.

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