Spierer civil suit discovery halted; claims called ‘precarious’

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The federal civil lawsuit naming two former Indiana University students who were among the last to see missing IU freshman Lauren Spierer will proceed, but a judge Monday narrowed the inquiry regarding one defendant and halted discovery in the meantime.

Spierer was last seen near the Bloomington campus in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011, after a night of drinking and club-hopping with fellow students. No one has been charged in her disappearance, but Spierer’s parents sued those who were the last to see her and who are alleged to have supplied her alcohol.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Tim Baker on Monday issued an order granting Jason Rosenbaum’s motion to bifurcate the case against him and limit discovery to issues relating to proximate cause.

“In considering these issues, it is relevant and appropriate to consider the seemingly precarious posture of the Spierers’ remaining claims,” Baker wrote in granting Rosenbaum’s motion in Robert Evan Spierer and Mary Charlene Spierer v. Corey Rossman and Jason Rosenbaum, 1:13-CV-991.

“In light of the foregoing developments, particularly the fully briefed summary judgment motion, the Court is hard-pressed to see why discovery should not be halted,” Baker wrote. “For now, the Court grants the motion to bifurcate and stays further discovery pending a discovery hearing, at which time the motions to quash will be addressed along with any remaining discovery issues.”

Baker set that hearing for 2 p.m. May 28 at the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.

The Spierers claim Rosenbaum and Rossman should face civil liability for negligence per se and dram shop. A third defendant, Michael Beth, was previously dismissed from the case, and Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in December dismissed other counts against Rosenbaum and Rothman.




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