The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a judge has dismissed a personal injury lawsuit against Duquesne University. Sam Ashaolu, a former basketball player for the university, attempted to sue the school as well as the university's Black Student Union for negligence. While he was attending an on-campus dance, he and four of his other teammates were wounded from gunfire when two men attacked them.
In 2006, the victim was shot twice in the head by William Holmes and Derek Lee. Mr. Holmes and Mr. Lee were accompanied by two women: Erica Sager and Brittany Jones. Mr. Ashaolu's brain injury was the most severe. ABC 4 News reports that his PA personal injury attorney, Joshua Geist said in 2008 when the lawsuit was filed that, "It'll be a long, hard road for Sam Ashaolu to travel throughout his life. Injuries to the brain, as in this case, are almost always permanent." In the lawsuit, his PA personal injury attorney claimed that Duquesne University was negligent because they should have had better security.
After the violent attack, criminal charges were brought up against the two gunmen as well as the two women who accompanied them to the dance. In 2007, Mr. Holmes pleaded guilty to attempted homicide and aggravated assault. He was sentenced to 18 to 40 years in prison. Mr. Lee also pleaded guilty to the same charges, however, he will only have to face 14 years in prison. One of the women, Brittany Jones, also pleaded guilty in 2007. She was charged with a misdemeanor for helping the two men gain entry into the dance. The Associated Press went on to say that Ms. Jones confessed to helping her friends get in even though she knew that they were armed. She was placed on probation for two years following her guilty plea.
The ruling last week only dismissed the negligence lawsuits against the university and its Black Student Union. The brain injury lawsuits against Mr. Holmes, Mr. Lee, and Ms. Erica Sager were not discussed. Judge Ronald W. Folino did mention that the lawsuit against Ms. Jones could go to trial.