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Mediation Attempt Unsuccessful for University of Utah and Family

Wednesday, June, 3, 2020

The attempt to mediate the dispute between deceased student Lauren McCluskey’s parents and the school has come to an end. The two sides did not reach an agreement in the mediation.


According to the McCluskey’s lawyers, they appreciated the chance to have “free and frank discussions” with the school, but there was no outcome reached, despite working hard to resolve the matter. The university released a statement that it had hoped for success and to benefit the school and McCluskey’s memory.


The McCluskeys filed a federal lawsuit against the school after their 21-year-old daughter was shot and killed. The McCluskeys believe the school could have prevented the incident and failed to protect their daughter. McCluskey was killed near her dorm on campus by a 37-year-old man who stalked her and attempted to blackmail her before her death.


Between the middle of October and her death on October 22, McCluskey had contacted university police more than 20 times. According to McCluskey’s parents, the school security staff never took her concerns seriously when they could have acted to prevent her death.


The two sides met via video conference, observing COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. The talks were overseen by a retired Denver judge. The meeting lasted 14.5 hours.


The two sides did not discuss the details of the mediation publicly – something that is normal for the process – and refused to say if the two sides were any closer to an agreement in light of the discussions during mediation. Though the first mediation has ended, the McCluskey’s lawyers are still hoping it moved things forward and settlement might be a possibility in the future.