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A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against one of three classmates of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer.
Rob and Charlene Spierer contend two of their daughter's friends gave her alcohol when they should have known she was already drunk, while a third, Mike Beth, took on responsibility for her safety when he walked her out of his apartment and down the hall to try to find her a ride home.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt agreed with Beth's attorney, WIBC talk show host Greg Garrison, in rejecting the Spierers' argument that Beth took on a duty to ensure Spierer's safety. Garrison says it would directly contradict Good Samaritan laws encouraging people to help those in need, if someone who felt they should have done more could haul them into court.
The other two students are also seeking dismissal of the lawsuit. They argue being at a bar with someone isn't the same as being the bartender who serves them drinks. And they argue even if there were a legal duty, the Spierers would have to show Lauren's drinking led directly to her being injured or killed. Instead, attorneys say, the Spierers don't have any evidence Lauren is injured or dead in the first place -- only that she's missing.
Pratt says she hopes to rule on the dismissal request within the next two weeks.
The Spierers attended the hearing in federal court in Indianapolis but left without speaking to reporters.
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