A college student from New York State is suing Villanova University in
suburban Philadelphia over allegations that the school didn’t do enough to prevent a vicious attack perpetrated by a fellow student.
Beau Dietl filed suit on March 26 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania over injuries he says he sustained on Sept. 16, 2012, when he was attacked and assaulted by another student on Villanova’s campus.
The area where the attack occurred was poorly lit, had no video surveillance, and was devoid of emergency “call boxes” that would have enabled the plaintiff to contact security for help, the lawsuit states.
Dietl was only able to escape the attack by student Maximo Almonte when two friends helped to free him from the headlock that the assailant had placed him in, according to the civil action.
The plaintiff had to be transported to Bryn Mawr Hospital for medical treatment and to undergo a CT scan of his skull and facial bones.
His father ended up having to travel to Pennsylvania to get his son and take the young man to a hospital in Long Island, NY, where Dietl underwent several hours of surgery on his nose and facial structures, according to the lawsuit.
Dietl says he expects to have to undergo additional surgeries in the future.
The plaintiff sustained a host of physical injuries, the suit states, such as fractures, herniations, and other ailments, and he has suffered from psychological trauma and severe emotional distress.
The complaint says that despite the severity of Dietl’s injuries and despite the fact that the university was fully aware of the identity of the attacker, after the incident, the school merely issued a temporary suspension to Almonte and then enabled him to not only return to the college, but also resume his scholarship status.
“The Plaintiff in this case was victimized twice: first by the assault due to the lack of Villanova University’s adequate security and then, again, when the University that he reasonably expected to ensure his safety by maintaining safe premises caused him to fear for his safety at the educational institution by permitting his attacker to return to campus and thereby forced Plaintiff to transfer to a new school mid-way through the school year,” the lawsuit states.
The suit contains counts of negligent supervision and premises liability.
The complaint alleges that at the time the plaintiff was attacked, there had been numerous reports of other mischievous and/or criminal acts occurring on Villanova’s campus, something that proved the need for additional security and employee training.
“Upon information and belief, the presence of said criminal activity constituted a dangerous and hazardous condition on Villanova University premises about which Villanova University knew, or should have known, could cause injury to students, including Plaintiff, and imposed further duty upon Villanova University to protect its students by provision of diligent and proper security measures,” the suit reads.
“Villanova University knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that no student, including Plaintiff, had it within their own power to take the measures necessary to provide for their own security while on the premises of Villanova University.”
Dietl seeks unspecified compensatory damages, as well as interest, attorney’s fees and delay damages.
He is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Heidi G. Villari, of The Beasley Firm, and lawyer James J. Binns.
The federal case number is 2:14-cv-01783-HB.