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Mother Sues Rutgers for Wrongful Death

Date06 Feb 2020

The mother of Kenneth Patterson, who was hit and killed by an Amtrak train after getting drunk at a fraternity party, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Rutgers University where Kenneth was a student.

Patterson was invited to TDXmas, a party at the Huntington Street fraternity on Dec. 9, 2017, which according to the lawsuit, “-was on a cease and desist order and was prohibited from sponsoring and/or hosting any fraternity-related events.”

According to text messages with friends, Patterson had gotten lost after the party while trying to find his dorm room. He was struck and killed by the train near the Jersey Avenue station in New Brunswick, which was more than 2 miles away from campus. The fraternity was only a half mile from the fraternity.

A New Brunswick police report says that a conductor on the Amtrak train, Shawn Savage, told police that he saw Patterson “crossing over the tracks. He then tripped on one of the tracks causing him to fall.”

The lawsuit claims that the university and its police department, “-knew or should have known about the unsanctioned fraternity event and service on intoxicating alcohol to underage persons, and otherwise negligently, carelessly and recklessly failed to implement and/or enforce proper and effective policies and procedures regarding security, public safety, supervision of events and activities on… the university campus.”

The suit also alleges the fraternity, “-negligently, carelessly and recklessly served intoxicating alcohol to … a minor under the legal age for consumption of alcohol to the point of intoxication.”

The university’s spokesman, Neil Buccino said, “We cannot comment on pending litigation,” and went on to say, “The university was deeply saddened by the death of Kenneth Patterson and offered our condolences to his family and counseling services to our students affected by this tragic loss. The university actively cooperated with the Amtrak Police Department in its investigation into his death.”

The family has also launched the, “Justice for KJP” initiative on social media in order to look for more information about what happened between the time Kenneth left the party and his death.

“We still have no answers but you have great friends who celebrate your beautiful, vibrant life with us. I miss you every day and hope one day we find out the real story,” Claudia Patterson wrote.


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