MOSCOW, Idaho -- A former University of Idaho student and her parents are seeking a jury trial in Latah County Second District Court to determine if the university, Idaho State Board of Education and several Greek organizations should be held responsible for the student's September 2009 fall from a third-story fraternity house window.
The former student, Amanda Andaverde, and her parents, Esmeralda Banda and Raul Andaverde, filed the lawsuit Wednesday and are seeking monetary compensation for medical, travel and other expenses related to Amanda Andaverde's injuries.
Andaverde, who is from Caldwell, Idaho, was a 19-year-old sophomore at the UI and a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority when the accident occurred early on the morning of Sept. 10, 2009, at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on campus in Moscow.
The lawsuit's list of defendants includes the UI, state board, several Sigma Alpha Epsilon companies, the parent company of Delta Delta Delta and a handful of "John Doe" individuals associated with Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
The lawsuit states the defendants didn't do enough to ensure safe conditions at the fraternity and didn't do enough to prevent underage people, including Andaverde, from consuming alcohol.
According to court documents, Andaverde and several of her Delta Delta Delta sorority sisters attended two UI fraternity parties the night of Sept. 9, the first at the Sigma Chi residence and the second at Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
The joint Sigma Chi/Delta Delta Delta party involved a "tie exchange" in which members of Delta Delta Delta determined their dates for the night by randomly choosing ties belonging to Sigma Chi members.
Andaverde arrived at Sigma Chi around 8 p.m. Sept. 9 and participated in the tie exchange. Court documents say no one from either Sigma Chi or Delta Delta Delta checked identification to ensure underage participants were not served alcohol, and Andaverde reportedly consumed alcohol at the party.
Andaverde and several of her sorority sisters left Sigma Chi around 11 p.m. and arrived at Sigma Alpha Epsilon around 11:15 p.m., when the women parted ways.
Court documents say the Sigma Alpha Epsilon party was a "case exchange" in which "each participating member of (SAE) supplied a case of beer that was randomly selected by a member of a particular sorority."
Once again, court documents allege, no one at the fraternity house checked identification to prevent minors, including Andaverde, from consuming alcohol.
Andaverde and a friend engaged in a conversation on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon third-floor sleeping porch, before the friend introduced Andaverde to a male resident of the house. Andaverde and the man reportedly talked for 30-60 minutes before lying together on his bed around 12:30 a.m. Sept. 10.
The bed was the middle bunk of a three-tiered bunk bed that court documents say "abutted and nearly spanned an open exterior window." The window did not have any stops, locks or devices to prevent it from fully opening or to keep someone from falling through.
Andaverde and the man were reportedly kissing on the bed when she rolled onto her shoulder and inadvertently fell 25 feet out the open window onto concrete. She suffered extensive injuries as a result of the fall.
"Today, Amanda suffers permanent effects of the severe traumatic brain injury and other bodily injuries she sustained after she fell ... ," court documents say. "Amanda, however, is a fighter with strong faith, who is making progress in re-learning how to walk, speak and function as normally as she can in light of her injuries."
Court documents allege both fraternities "have a history of violating the rules and regulations (the UI) has established regarding the availability and consumption of alcohol by underage members and their guests."
The lawsuit states Sigma Alpha Epsilon should have maintained the house in a safe condition, warned visitors and members about potentially dangerous conditions, protected members and visitors from harm, among other responsibilities.
It also states the UI, especially because it requires freshmen to live on campus, should have known about dangerous conditions at the fraternity house and taken steps to alleviate them. Andaverde's fall was the second of its kind on the UI campus in about a two-week period.
Andaverde's sorority is listed as a defendant because the house had policies in place for upperclassmen members to monitor minor underclassmen and ensure they did not drink alcohol, but no one reportedly stopped Andaverde from drinking.
The UI maintains a policy to not comment on pending litigation.
Andaverde and her parents are being represented by Litster Frost Injury Lawyers of Boise.
The lawsuit has been assigned to Latah County Second District Judge John Stegner, who has yet to set a preliminary hearing date.
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