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Wrongful-Death Suit Dismissed

Elizabeth Shin’s parents continue suit against individual employees.

Two and a half years after the parents of Elizabeth Shin filed a wrongful-death civil suit against MIT, the Middlesex Superior Court dismissed all claims against the Institute. However, Judge Christine McEvoy ruled that the claims against four psychiatrists and two administrators can proceed to a jury trial. MIT has filed a motion to reconsider or seek immediate appeal of the court’s decision regarding the two administrators.

Shin died in an alleged suicide in April 2000, when she was an MIT sophomore. Her parents filed a $27 million suit in January 2002 alleging breach of contract, medical malpractice, and negligence on the part of MIT psychiatrists, student-life staff, and campus police. The Shins later voluntarily dismissed their claims against the campus police, one psychiatrist, and one administrator.

“The death of Elizabeth Shin was a tragedy,” Institute officials said in a statement released after the court’s ruling. “But it was not the fault of MIT or anyone who works at MIT. The Institute will continue its defense of the members of its community who tried to help her.”

The Shin case follows two recent suits against MIT. The father of Julia Carpenter, who committed suicide in 2001, sued MIT and individuals here in 2003. A suit filed after the accidental death of Richard Guy Jr. in 1999 was resolved in 2005.

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