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Parents of 2 slain Chinese students sue USC

Updated: 2012-05-18 09:30
( Xinhua)

LOS ANGELES - The parents of two Chinese students who were shot dead near University of Southern California (USC) campus have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the university.

Both parents of victims Wu Ying and Qu Ming filed the suit at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Alan Burton Newman, attorney for the plaintiffs confirmed Thursday that the court accepted the lawsuit.

Wu and Qu, both 23 and second-year electrical engineering graduate students from China, were killed while sitting in a car on the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue, where the female victim resided.

Newman said the parents had asked the USC to sit down with them "to work something out", but was refused.

"I'm sure the USC will spend a great deal of money on opposing the lawsuit rather than compensating the parents," he said.

Newman said the best way is to find a compromise and let both sides sit down and talk about the issue. However, "They (USC) don' t want to compromise. They (USC) don't even want to talk," he added.

In a statement issued Thursday in response to the suit, USC attorney Debra Wong Yang called the shooting a tragedy, but said there were no grounds for the lawsuit.

"USC is deeply saddened by this tragic event, which was a random violent act not representative of the safety of USC or the neighborhoods around campus," the statement said. "While we have deep sympathy for the victims' families, this lawsuit is baseless and we will move to have it dismissed."

"The attorney for the families subsequently instructed them to decline USC's gesture and filed suit," she said.

Nonetheless, Newman thinks the lawsuit is "more than reasonable " and "absolutely true."

"It's terrible injustice. They (parents) are fighting that. The other side does not want to pay money," he added.

Chen Zhunmin, education consul from Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, said America is a nation of laws and the parents have the right to file a lawsuit. Chen didn't give any further comments on the lawsuit because he said he lacked detailed information about it.

The USC website states the university is ranked among the " safest of US universities and colleges, with one of the most comprehensive, proactive campus and community safety programs in the nation". But the parents accuse the USC of not providing patrols in the area where the students were killed and the campus is in a high-crime area.

The USC has announced a 125,000-dollar reward two days after the tragedy for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever gunned down two Chinese students. Days later, the city of Los Angeles also offered $75,000 in reward for information over the killing. The case is still under investigation.

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