The MIT junior Brian G. Anderson, who was found dead in his dorm room, may not have died of suicide, reports The Boston Globe. He was twenty-one-years old. His was the third undergraduate death at MIT this school year.
Despite the fact that Brian Anderson's death was ruled not a suicide, police so far did not seem inclined to say that it was suspicious.
Anderson’s obituary described him as a brilliant and hard-working self-taught young man, reports The Tech. He even taught himself German during high school.
When a student death occurs at a university — whether from suicide or other causes — it sometimes raises the possibility of a lawsuit against the university for having been negligent in some way.
Negligence is defined as “conduct that falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.” Negligence generally consists of five elements, including the following:
- a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff
- a breach of that duty
- an actual causal connection between the defendant’s conduct and the resulting harm
- proximate cause, which relates to whether the harm was foreseeable
- damages resulting from the defendant’s conduct.
Determining damages when the individual that passed away was very young, and not yet in the working world, can be quite difficult. It often requires testimony from experts that use charts and graphs and math to try and determine how much someone would have been worth down the road.
Of course, to get to the point of damages, some finding of wrongdoing in MIT Junior Brian G. Anderson’s death and some particular duty to protect him from the harm suffered must first be found.