Should UVA coaches be sued over Yeardley Love's death?

This story is a part of the Huguely trial coverage special.


Me thinks its carrying things a little too far. I can understand to some degree and UVA should be much more proactive when dealing with students who display problems with drinking but to hold a coach responcible for what happened stretches things a bit. If they want to hold some one accountable for the little runts actions they need to go after his enabling father.

"should" they be sued??

Consider the inverse: Should the family of a murdered daughter not be allowed to pursue a wrongful death suit against those that may have indirectly led to her death?

The merits of any suit are decided in a court of law. But whether or not someone should be allowed to sue should be beyond question.

Shame on the hook for suggesting that the Love Families rights "should" be curtailed.

The truth will out.

Hughley was found guilty of her murder. He should be held accountable for his actions.
I am not blaming the victim, but the truth is that Ms Love continued to have contact with Hughley. At the first sign of violence, she should have run the other direction from him, gotten a court order, whatever it would have taken to protect herself. If she didn't feel that he was a serious threat to her safety even though she had known him intimately for several years, why would the coaches or others at UVA have seen this coming and been able to prevent it?
The Love family is barking up the wrong tree going after UVA and the coaches. They need to take their money and honor Yeardly by helping young women learn to recognize the signs of abuse and have the courage to not tolerate it. As it is, it looks like their greed has won out over their grief.
Do the Loves' have the RIGHT to sue UVA? Sure. they also have the right to sue former mayor Dave Norris for the murder, and Joe Biden, and anybody else that comes to mind like the pizza delivery man, the banker, and the show salesman. May the real question to as readership is Does the lawsuit filed by the Loves against UVA and its coaches HAVE ANY MERIT? And that answer is no.

In loco parentis is an interesting legal argument.

How far off campus does it, or should it, extend? To 14th Street and the 20-something ghetto because of proximity to campus? Or, perhaps, even to Australia while two UVA students are vacationing together, they both consume alcohol and have an altercation at 2:15 a.m. after a bedraggled kangaroo hops across the road in the outback. Will in loco parentis only extend off campus to adult students when murder is committed involving alcohol, or will it obligate UVA to every student car accident, scrapped knee, paper cut and stubbed toe?

Perhaps they should could consider suing all the liquor stores that sell to college students in the area, local pub owners, etc? Seriously though, I think the Love family does have the right to hear George's testimony and what the coaches have to say. Do I think UVA and the coaches should be sued? Absolutely not.

I have to admit being disappointed in the Love family for the lawsuits. As great a tragedy as this was, I'm not sure what bringing a lawsuit proves or is meant to accomplish. Can legal folks out there explain? Is this simply about money, or something else?

Jenny Mead: I am in agreement with you and I'm pretty sure the decision to sue the other parties was made by the Love legal counsel more so than by the family itself. I can understand suing George as he never took the stand. I'm wondering if Starsia and co. will resign before it's even brought to trial. Either way, they will be asked to take the stand.

It is quite normal for a family to pursue a civil complaint for loss of companionship, emotional distress following a murder conviction. One of the reasons for this is the Defendant no longer has the Bill of Rights benefits that apply when the Government is prosecuting him criminally. So, this is the avenue to allow fo sworn written answers, depositions, and, if it goes to trial, testimony in Court.
The culture of the lax team (at least before this incident) is no secret and its leaders' motivation to look the other way are obvious. Whether the evidence obtained through the civil litigation discovery process means there is appropriate liability for the state/coaches is yet to be determined.
The Hook's question is premature and I think not artfully worded if I'm interpreting it correctly...


Only if they can justify suing the girls coach and all team members, teachers, anyone who knew her and her killer........

Next thing you know, people will be suing the coaches of the NFL. Maybe all of the children born of NBA players should sue those coaches. Maybe their teachers should be sued for what their students do. Definitely get those overpaid principals.

So, does this mean that Courtney Love can sue Geffen and Sub Pop records for driving Kurt Cobain to blow his brains out? Oh, wait she probably already thought of that twenty years ago and all the proceeds went up her nose.

Gallipoli, why can you understand wanting to sue Huguely because he did not take the stand? Is it because you know that the Loves want to relive the horror, perhaps made more horrifying by a kid saying he's sorry but he just doesn't remember a lot of his actions due to blackouts? Are you aware that they are looking for a public apology? Are they planning to get him in court so they can grab a deputy's gun and take him out? (Guess they could do that at sentencing.)

Natalee Hollaway's mom visited ol' Juran in prison, out of the limelight and off the public stage. Just a different approach. I guess it depends what they are after, though. For the life of me, I can't figure it out. I enjoy reading what the apologists are guessing at, to give the Loves the benefit of the doubt. "Oh, it's to make him squirm on the stand." Or "oh, it's to to make sure the lax culture changes to help prevent this rare and non-lax related tragedy." But we really don't know what is driving this. Greedy lawyers telling them it's their duty while licking their chops ovr a big payday? Are the Loves just mean, merciless, and hellbent on vengeance? Time will tell I guess. Or maybe not.

Voltaire: I don't claim to understand anything regarding why the Love's are suing. I am guessing from the standpoint that if it were me I would want to hear what George has to say. I think, if anything, the Loves are owed that.

Who the hell is Natalee Hollaway?

"Who the hell is Natalee Hollaway?"

Lol, that explains so much.

Shay, that incident happened 7 years ago. Forgotten. Just like this case will be in 2 or 3.

If the Loves are indeed owed that (and I'm not 100% sure they are), why not just talk to the lad? I guess there are 30 million reasons they prefer court....

I don't think the Hook is asking whether they should have a legal right to sue, but whether exercising that remedy is the right move. To me, it seems like is not the right move. It comes across as greedy (in terms of the coaches) and mean spirited (in terms of huguely). It's not about justice, at least as I can see it. Perhaps I am missing some nuance,but it reads as a cash grab. And merciless (and kind of ugly) when it comes to GH.

Is money gained from a lawsuit tax exempt?

I think it's taxable since it's more punitive than it is to make up for real loss, like loss of income, even though their suit seems to say that they are making up for Yeardley's lost income -- but that realy wouldn't have benefitted them. Unless they truly are greedy and were planning to take her income. I suppose it's a matter of smart lawyers hoping to game the system.

Voltaire: trying to sue Huguely is mean spirited? Really? I cannot believe you think trying to take money away from him is mean spirited when he took Yeardley Love's LIFE. He deserves to suffer the rest of his life. And I think they may want to know what the coaches were aware of and when, something they may find out from this civil suit but otherwise might wonder about for the rest of their life.. There isn't enough cash in the world to make up for the taking of a life the way Yeardley Love's life was taken from her - no mercy was shown then.

The Loves probably want answers. Knowing how UVA stonewalls unpleasant queries, this is the only way to get to the bottom of this and provide the family with some semblance of understanding how this was allowed to happen.

Once all the facts are out in the sunlight, it may prove to have been a perfect storm with no one except GH financially accountable.

Allowed to happen? Financially accountable? Truly a bizarro world. In normal cases --t hink yer average murder or manslaughter of the great unwashed -- these concepts do not come up. I guess it's as Judge Sturgess famously said:
Justice is open to everyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel.

Today, it IS mean spirited. He will serve a sentence for what he did, as meted out by the impartial state. Loss of liberty is kind of a big deal even though people like to pretend it isn't. He's a young man. Troubled. Done horrible things. But a person. It's mean to want to exact destruction on him because of some vendetta to avenge the dead. Would Yeardley even want this? She probably loved him, or thought she did, at some point. Maybe even at the end. I'd prefer to see the Loves take a higher path and show some mercy. Think "justice" --- not "just us."

It would seem the real question to be answered here is "did the coaches and others in positions of authority and/or responsibility exercise all due legal and University administrative procedures to deal with a visible, evolving problem of alcohol abuse and anger issues as it became known to them."

From the Hook story, it appears they took more severe action against a lesser player for similar behavior. This would suggest that there were established rules/regulations/procedures that were not followed in the Huguely case.

If this is indeed true, then yes, they should be tried and culpability determined. The law is to be bound by rules and procedures to determine a fair legal outcome, regardless of the supposed logic of the general public or the emotions of observers.

Let the court be the trier of fact!

Well the courts did try the facts and found a man guilty. You know, the guy who did it. BUT there's no money in that, so it's best we cast a wider net until we find some deep pockets that can pay.

Are you suggesting that if the coaches/university had dealt with Mr. Huguely's issues with anger and alcohol in accordance with what appears to be University policy, i.e., the reports of his prior arrest for assaulting a police officer, he still would have committed his crime?

Just curious - I can't seem to get away from the idea that the inaction of the coach and those in authority for whatever reason - be it Mr. Huguely's wealth, family influence, sports skills, etc., at least share part of the blame for this tragedy.

Certainly the convicted offender is the primary actor, but didn't the coaches/school's inaction contribute to the event? If the school had disciplined, sanctioned, suspended or asked him to leave the team, would this have effected the outcome?

PJ, I'm saying there's no way to know whether not not anything would have kept him from committing the crime. Are those treatments even instantaneous? Do people not fall off the wagon? He could have done the same thing while in treatment -- it's not a magic bullet. And suppose he failed at those things or refused them and UVA or the coach booted him -- from the team or the school. Now there's more reason to get drunk and angry and kill her. I can see people blaming the coach and school as much or more for THAT scenario as they are for this one, citing that as motive.

George Zimmerman (of Trayvon fame) and one of the Columbine kids had taken anger management classes. Perhaps it works over time, perhaps it never works for some people. Would it have worked in time to save YL? And if not, should they have sued that program for being ineffective?

As for partial blame sharing, there's no end to that. The cheap apartment building with a door that could be easily punched or kicked in. The roommate who refused to talk to drunken GH that night just before he took the walk to YL's. His dad for getting him bombed that day. Whomever else sold or gave him the additional booze. The liquor or beer manufacturers. Too bad they ran out of time to sue.

In the end, gh alone committed the crime, for which he is being held accountable. And it's probably a sure thing that he didn't even mean to. But he is paying for it just the same. Maybe HE should sue the liquor manufacturers for getting him in trouble.

And will the victim be shown to have contributed to the situation? Virginia has contributory negligence, which can negate a cash award even if the jury finds for her. She didn't lock the door. She hit him with a purse days before her death, angry that he'd hooked up with her friend, and upon finding him with two high school girls. About that same time she taunted him that she'd hooked up with the NC player who was better in bed than GH. So how afraid was she of his violent temper?

Points well made by all - thank you... I realize my bias shows. I spent 37 years as an addictions/mental health counselor, and was often involved in the "employee assistance" and DUI programs, where an incident leading to work or legal problems can be seen as a need for an intervention or treatment, on the theory that if the addiction problem, rage problem, etc., is dealt with there will a reduction in behavioral problems.

Y'all are probably quite right that in this case, sadly, it wouldn't have mattered. Thanks for your comments!

PJ, you do make fair points and certainly have a useful and informed perspective. But you probably realize better than any of us the complexity of these things. Not every abusive, angry drunk ends up killing someone, and I'm sure the coaches see a fair share of stupid, drunken behavior without having any way of predicting whether or if any will turn deadly or homicidal. It's a tragedy that she died and that he killed her. It's tragic for both families. It's awful and stupid and pointless. But I don't think it's fair or right to try to pin it on the coaches or UVA.

The only way to make big money Universities and their employees change is by beating them at what they treasure most. Big Money, Ego and their self images of superiority need a nice big slap in the face and pocket book!

The Love's lawyers would be negligent if they did NOT tell the Love family of the options. Do you really think the family is worried about someone calling them greedy?

Maybe George, the coaches and others need to admit the truth under oath as a start to their rehabilitation. AND yes the coaches, system and university need to come to grips just as much George!

Civil law suites are our part of our rights as citizens. AND just who is it, that is afraid of the truth?

Nothing to hide,
Tell the truth,
Let the judge and jury decide!

I agree with Wahoo94 May 10th, 2012 | 1:41pm , except for The Hook being premature.

Sure it's a legitimate remedy. And I"m sure they don't care if I think them greedy or merciless or mean spirited and unable to accept how they contributed to the tragedy. I just don't see how the oaches or uva could have stopped one adult from killing another off campus. It's ludicrous. But then I don't agree with the Harringtons' suit eier. I think both are misplaced and opportunistic.

Just read something that explained that the wording of the suit against Huguely looks like they are going after any insurance he might have. So they're not greedy, eh? It's reasonable to take it out of the hide of the insurance company? Shame on them.

Funny, are some pro insurance companies underwritten and bailed out by us. Every company should tripple the rates on UVA and Tech. If the coaches knew about Hugeley's drug use and reported anger problems before hand then tthe Love's should get all they asking for plus wriiten statements as to changes in policy.

If they did not know, then the Love's should not be rewarded, but why do so many not even want for the truth to come out. You do realize that George may just spill the beans on the UVA system under oath and that is reason enough for the Loves to take it to limit!

Nothing to hide, counter sue the family of a murderd co-ed that you recruited and wooed the family with promises of safety and the best environment.

It is all about the truth! Are you not for finding the truth and changing policy if proven that they need to be changed!

Insurances companies that UVA should be medically monitoring student althletes anyway. If UVA follows the NCAA rules then no peoblem with them being legal. But insurance companies are to protect their interest with raising rates. You may be able to get a driver license and not be able to use it without insurance, and companies cannot be forced to take drivers on.

This case has a lot of legal questions and should be heard!

People talk about what is nice to do and how the Loves are greedy. Well, if all was right the coaches should have been athe funeral, giving the Love family support no matter what the administartion told them to do. But no, not practical! UVA and what they told people to say and not to say is all beased on protecting their asses.

Then some think the Loves are supose to be nicey nice, with an insitution and Coaches that are pure parasites! No way!

Michael Sutton,what of the suit against Huguely? Does that not seem merciless and greedy, trying to get his insurers to cough up money? He's hardly an institution, if you are agreeing with the governator's comment in the video above (paraphrasing: "I don't think it's UVA's fault, but i'm all for sticking it to the establishment.")

Maybe if they had sued just UVA and not GH -- maybe that would sit better with me. It just seems so mean, going for this pound of flesh. I know comments above suggest that this is necessary to get the info they can then use to screw UVA, but seriously -- they can't just depose him?

Michael Sutton, I'm all for truth, but what could possibly show that anyone but GH is responsible for this tragedy? Ok, his genetics and parenting are surely part of the problem, but that's universally true (and true for YL as well). Anger management or rehab may not have helped (oooh! then they could add THEM to the suit!) or changed things a whit.

These suits reduce the Loves from a grieving family to opportunists waiting to cash in. Again, there are MILLIONS of reasons they could care less what I think of them. Bully for them. Ka-ching!

Somehow, I don't think money is at the root of this...although this is the American way....someone makes you mad, sue em'.....If this is what it takes to force UVA to "face the piper" on all their past "cover ups"....then maybe it's where it needs to go. BUT, if money IS at the root of this and the Loves believe that suing the world will bring Yeardley back in some way...then maybe we need to rethink the "American Way". With all that said, I still believe there is more to this entire story (GH and his nuclear temper) than is being told...too bad that will never come to light...just another "sweep it under the rug".

GH did it, was arrested, tried, found guilty, and will be sentenced. Who cares if there is more to his nuclear temper? How will the Loves' attempt to cash in on YL's untimely death expose or make up for past UVA coverups? Should a jury award the Loves money because even though they had nothing to do with GH killing their daughter, they should pay for other transgressions? It's absurd and it's what's wrong with the justice system today.

Who cares if there is more to his nuclear temper? - Because if the real reason is never acknowledged, it could happen again...remember we don't pass laws, create regulations etc for the's for that handful of Jackbutts that can't get it right...the rest of us just suffer for them,

How will the Loves' attempt to cash in on YL's untimely death expose or make up for past UVA coverups? - again, I don't think it's a "cash-in" (IMHO) it's more of a "wake up" call for UVA...don't cover your dirty laundry, own it, wash it and let it dry. Don't just throw it under a rug. It's more referred to as accountability. With everything that has been reported, it seems like the situation could have been foreseen and avoided if someone like a coach may have stepped up to the plate...but we only have what has been reported to make conclusions with.

Should a jury award the Loves money because even though they had nothing to do with GH killing their daughter, they should pay for other transgressions? - No, I don't think monetary compensation is in order, nor do I think that this is the real goal...but maybe I am wrong, I can admit that. But I think it's more of a "acknowledge your shortcomings" and see what you can do to correct them...I do feel the same way about VA Tech...could they really control the man that killed all those people? Did they know beforehand and just not act? The real question is could there have been something done to prevent it and did the right people just turn away (as officials at UVA are reported famous for doing).

It's absurd and it's what's wrong with the justice system today. - Very true and I agree with you completely...why should anyone be able to sue anyone for anything at anytime? But in some cases it may be the only way to bring it to the forefront and MAYBE get the change needed. I would be more apt to take to the road with the story and make sure that changes were made that way...but I am not Love's mom, I can't walk in her shoes right now.

Now if I am wrong and the Loves are in the "anger" stage of grief and think that any monetary compensation they MAY receive from this can make the pain any better, I will very quickly admit, own and attempt to correct my shortcomings. But I would like to believe that the Loves just want a change in the way UVA handles some of it's tragedies.

Thanks, Onwidit. Fair replies. As for GH's "who cares?" is along the lines of "who cares, since he's going to be in prison for 26 years?" So....why do we care, if the manchild is locked up away from us? How does suing him for $30M help protect us from his temper? How can it happen 26 years from now, when there's a fair chance he will not be the same man coming out as going in. So -- since we are now ,as a society, safe from him, I don't see the need for the suit against the troubled lad -- except to extract money from his insurance company.

Here's an interesting difference between UVA and VT. Let me quote from this source (btw, the insurance company insight comes from here, too):

"The statutes that created Virginia Tech include Virginia Code §23-122, which reads, in part:

The board shall be charged with the care and preservation and improvement of the property belonging to the University, and with the protection and safety of students and other persons residing on the property…

The statutes that created the University of Virginia include §23-76, which reads, in part:

The board shall be charged with the care and preservation of all property belonging to the University."

So there's a big difference right off the bat in terms of stated responsibility.

Nice comments, but you seem to live in a fantasy world. If UVA and Tech would act reponcably because it is the right thing to do, then we would have these news stories. Warning students after the first shot would have saved lives, testing and expelling student athelets for drug and alchol abuse make sence. The Universities concern is to get a LAX championship at all cost.

The system is broke and people are dead.

Money is all that they will understand. Take all of their money, every single penny!

For the Loves to to make changes they should get every penny, becouse money drives the broken machine.
It is a real world not some little make believe world.

Get real, UVA and the Coaches will only repond to BIG TIME Law Suites, it's a shame, but it is the truth!
I wouldn't let that coach pet my dog!
If he knew he should resign and let the Loves pay their taxes on punitive dames in the millions, the only way you will ever see the UVA sytem pay a dime and that would be a fraction of what they should pay. A State institution my butt.

Let the Alumni who throw their money into that school suffer like Ms. Loves and all the victims of UVA suffer!

Be as harsh as you can Love family because its time for UVA and coaches to change, change will come only when exact all of the money possible from them. Loss of money is the only language the greedy ego driven UVA people will ever repond to!

If the reader don't like the truth watch a movie!

But do we know what things would have changed this outcome? For all we know, it was their fate. I see the anger against the institution -- raging against 'the man'. Maybe I should root for the Loves to sock it to them, cuz, as Kramer explains to Jerry, "They write it off!" No big deal. all accounts, Starsia is a good guy with a good family. Could this take him down? Ruin them? Who cares! The Loves and others are mad at UVA. Let's pretend that the lives of real people don't matter. Let's forget that justice has already been served by trying the perp and finding him guilty. Money didn't save him. He's paying. But there's no money in that, is there.

Soothsayer , thank you!!

The statutes that created Virginia Tech include Virginia Code §23-122, which reads, in part:

The board shall be charged with the care and preservation and improvement of the property belonging to the University, and with the protection and safety of students and other persons residing on the property…

The statutes that created the University of Virginia include §23-76, which reads, in part:

The board shall be charged with the care and preservation of all property belonging to the University."

So there's a big difference right off the bat in terms of stated responsibility.

Now this is completely eye opening!!! Gives one something to really think on....the questions that comes to mind is "why?"......

Soothsayer - How can it happen again - I was thinking more along the lines of the next "GH type athelete".....not necessarily GH himself.

Ah, gotcha', Onwidit.