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Family of UCSD student who died in fall from dorm window sues UC Regents


The parents of a UC San Diego student who suffered fatal injuries last year when he fell out of an eighth-floor window at his dorm have sued the University of California Board of Regents, alleging the windows lacked safety devices.

The wrongful death suit was filed in San Diego County Superior Court on behalf of Aaron Fan, who was an 18-year-old freshman from Poway when the accident occurred.

Authorities say Fan fell from a bathroom window at Tioga Hall, on the western edge of campus, about 11:45 p.m. Oct. 22, while the university was celebrating homecoming weekend. He died the following day at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

The county Medical Examiner’s Office determined that, at the time of the accident, Fan had a blood alcohol level of 0.27, more than three times above the level at which drivers are allowed to legally operate a vehicle in California.

An autopsy also should Fan tested “presumptive positive” for cannabinoids, substances found in the cannabis plant. Authorities said they did not have a way to determine whether Fan had used marijuana in the hours or days before he died.

Parents Xiaocong Fan and Yan Zhao say in their lawsuit that the bathroom windows in Tioga Hall are “hazardously sizeable, to where a person’s body could fully enter the spacing of the opening, and fall through the open space of the windows. …

“(The windows) were not equipped with a safety device installed to limit the casement windows from swinging outward to an open position so that a person’s body would be prevented from falling from the window, including and not limited to, safety devices of restrictor cables, latches, and/or other window guards.”

The UC Office of the President did not provide a specific reply Monday when the Union-Tribune asked for a comment.

UCSD sent the U-T a statement that says, “Although the university is not able to comment on pending litigation, the safety of students, faculty and staff is our highest concern.”

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