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Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice to join lawsuit over Lauren McCluskey’s death

Posted at 7:23 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 00:19:34-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Monday, former Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Christine Durham announced she is joining the McCluskey family and their legal team in their lawsuit against the University of Utah over Lauren McCluskey’s death.

Durham is known for her legal work on discrimination against women.

Her motive in joining the McCluskey case is to help make universities here in Utah and across the nation become safer for students.

“As a threshold manner, law enforcement has got to be taught and required to believe and investigate,” Durham said.

In a new memo opposing the University of Utah’s motion to dismiss their lawsuit, the McCluskeys outlined five major claims.

The main focuses of the lawsuit include claims that the U violated Lauren’s rights under the equal protection clause along with Title IX violations.

“If the University of Utah were to be successful in its position that it had no legal obligations under these circumstances, every other university would take that same position,” Durham said. “That is an unacceptable result and it’s unacceptable under federal law.”

The consequences of the court’s decision could be precedent-setting and could save lives.

“We hope it will mean that women will be taken seriously and when these reports are made that there is actually an investigation,” said Matthew McCluskey, Lauren's father.

In a statement distributed all over campus Monday morning, the U said McCluskey’s tragic murder was a pivotal moment for them.

“This institution is committed to improving and to reducing the likelihood of such a tragedy happening again on campus,” the statement read.

The McCluskeys are requesting new evidence be submitted and reviewed by the court including many articles written by reporters with The Salt Lake Tribune.