ILNews

Lauren Spierer’s parents sue 3 in daughter’s disappearance

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer have asked the federal court in Indianapolis for a civil jury trial in a lawsuit against students believed to have last been with her before her disappearance two years ago.

Spierer was 20 years old when she disappeared in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011, after a night of drinking and partying in Bloomington. The suit claims that events preceding her disappearance included stops at Kilroy’s Sports Bar and at the apartments of defendants Corey Rossman, Jason Rosenbaum and Michael Beth.

The suit was filed by Barnes & Thornburgh LLP partner Jason Barclay. “Our goal here is just to get more information,” Barclay said Wednesday.

The complaint alleges that Rosenbaum allowed an intoxicated Spierer to leave his residence at 4:30 a.m. on the day of her disappearance. “Rosenbaum was the last known person with Spierer while she was alive,” according to the complaint in Spierer et al v. Rossman et al, 1:13-cv-991.

“Spierer’s abandonment in an intoxicated and disoriented state in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011 in an area known for criminal acts contributed to her disappearance, and presumed injuries and death,” the suit alleges.

The suit was transferred June 20 from Monroe Circuit Court to Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Indiana after a notice of removal was filed by the defendants, who noted the amount in controversy is likely to be greater than $75,000 and defendants live in various states: Rossman in Massachusetts, Rosenbaum in Michigan and Beth in New Jersey.

High-profile defense attorneys James H. Voyles, Jennifer Lukemeyer and John Trimble are among five who have entered appearances for Rosenbaum. Contacted Wednesday, Voyles declined to comment and said court filings would speak for the defense.

Rossman is defended by Bloomington attorney Carl Salzman and Indianapolis attorney Richard R. Skiles. Beth’s attorneys are Joshua N. Taylor and James G. Garrison of Indianapolis.   

Just one count of three in the complaint names all three defendants: negligence resulting in the disappearance, death or injury of an adult child. That count argues that the three defendants owed a duty of care to Spierer that was violated by plying her with alcohol after she was intoxicated and failing to ensure her safe return to her apartment.

Two other counts name only Rosenbaum and Rossman: negligence per se under I.C. 7.1-5-10-15.5, and dram shop, both of which regard civil liability for supplying alcohol to an intoxicated person. The suit asks for damages and attorneys fees.

Barclay released the following statement issued through Barnes & Thornburgh:

“Rob and Charlene Spierer authorized the filing of this lawsuit with great reluctance and only after we counseled them that they would lose certain legal rights if not exercised by the two-year anniversary of Lauren’s disappearance. We hope no one will misinterpret this action. Any parent in search of information about a missing child would use every resource available to them. Therefore, we intend to use the rights afforded by the civil justice system to obtain answers to questions that have gone unanswered for too long. We fully expect that those with relevant information will cooperate with this process.”

No criminal charges have been filed related to Lauren Spierer’s disappearance.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

ADVERTISEMENT