BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - All three of the men facing a civil lawsuit from the family of Lauren Spierer want a federal judge to dismiss the case, arguing the Spierers can’t prove that the missing IU student has been injured or is dead.
The attorneys for Jason Rosenbaum, Michael Beth and his roommate Corey Rossman filed the motions Thursday in U.S. Federal Court in Indianapolis.
Beth’s attorney argues in the filing that the suit should be thrown out because there is no proof of Lauren’s death.
“Simply put Plaintiffs cannot prove that Spierer was injured or killed,” attorney Greg Garrison wrote.
Garrison further argues that Spierer’s two-year absence is not enough to presume she is dead. Indiana law requires a person to be “inexplicably absent for a continuous period of seven years” to be presumed dead.
Rossman's attorney and Rosenbaum's attorney included the same defense in their responses.
Lauren Spierer was last seen after a night of drinking in June 2011.
At the time of the disappearance, Beth was the roommate of Rossman, a friend of Spierer’s who was drinking with her that night. Rossman admits to buying Spierer "several" drinks between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m.
Beth’s attorneys also argue he had no duty to protect Spierer, even though he observed her to be extremely intoxicated that night.
Rossman's legal team said their client was not legally required to escort Spierer home or keep her from leaving the apartment.
"Plaintiffs will likely argue that because of the alleged level of Spierer's intoxication Rossman should have taken her home instead of taking her to his residence," Rossman's attorneys wrote. "However, there is a distinction under the law between saying that a person should do something and saying that a person has a legal duty to do something."
Rosenbaum's attorney said that to require legal duty on Rosenbaum once Spierer left his home to ensure the return to her apartment was contrary to Indiana law.
Beth claims he tried to get Spierer to sleep on the couch at his apartment that night after she returned from the bar, believing she was extremely drunk.
When she refused, he escorted her to the apartment of Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum has told authorities that Spierer later left his apartment by herself in the early morning hours. She has not been seen since.
Spierer’s parents filed the wrongful death suit against the Beth, Rossman and Rosenbaum on May 30 in Monroe County, just before the two-year statute of limitations would have expired.
The suit was transferred to federal court in June.
Read Michael Beth's response here: http://bit.ly/11hd1GR
Read Corey Rossman's response here: http://bit.ly/11hded6
Read Jason Rosenbaum's response here: http://bit.ly/1aLQ41A