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

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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.

 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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