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USC Responds to Suit by Students Hurt While Shooting Video

University of Southern California Entrance Sign

Photo: Laser1987 / iStock Editorial / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A lawsuit filed by two USC students injured when they were struck by a falling roof tile while shooting a video for a film project on campus in 2022 should be dismissed, in part because what happened to them was an "act of God," university attorneys argue in new court papers.

The Los Angeles Superior Court complaint brought by Caileigh Kae Gold and Qiong Eva Wu alleges negligence, premises liability and negligent infliction of emotional distress. They seek unspecified damages.

On Thursday, USC attorneys filed their rebuttal to the suit with Judge Lisa R. Jaskol, citing multiple defenses.

"Plaintiffs' claims and damages, as asserted against (USC) are barred, in whole or in part, because any duty or performance of (the university) are excused by an act of God or unforeseen forces beyond the control of (USC)," the university lawyers maintain in their court papers while also asserting that the plaintiffs assumed the risk of injury.

The plaintiffs should "take nothing" from USC, according to the university lawyers, who further request that a comparison of  possible fault by USC be assessed with that of the plaintiffs and any third parties.

The two students went to a location on campus near Bridge Hall and the Leventhal School of Accounting at about 9:30 p.m. Jan. 21, 2022, to begin the video shoot, for which they had been authorized by eight people, the suit states.

Without warning, a clay or concrete roof tile fell about four stories from the top of the Leventhal School of Accounting building and hit Gold in the head, causing a deep laceration, and also hit Wu in one arm, leaving both women seriously injured, the suit brought April 17 states.

Gold and Wu also suffered injuries to their nervous system that have not fully healed, according to the suit. They also continue to experience pain and suffering and have incurred medical care costs, according to their suit.

USC had an obligation to keep people like Gold and Wu safe by inspecting the premises for hazards and the university also failed to warn them of the dangerous condition, the suit states.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

CNS-08-11-2023 07:58

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