Love Family Files Lawsuit Against UVa Lacrosse Coaches, Athletic Director

By: NewsStaff Email
By: NewsStaff Email


The University of Virginia lacrosse program and athletics department declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia released the following statement:

"We are aware that suit has been filed, but, to date, the plaintiff has not sought to have it served on the commonwealth defendants.  If it is served, we will vigorously defend the case. While we certainly recognize the terrible loss suffered by the Love family, that loss was not caused by the commonwealth or anyone employed at the University of Virginia."

May 3, 2012

The mother of slain University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the lacrosse coach of her daughter's killer.

Sharon Love filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday, two days before the two-year anniversary of her daughter's death, against Virginia men's lacrosse coach Dom Starsia and his assistant coach, Marc Van Arsdale. The news was first reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The lawsuit, filed in Louisa County Circuit Court, lists Sharon Love and the estate of Yeardley Love as the plaintiffs and Starsia, Van Arsdale, UVa. Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage and the Commonwealth of Virginia, which operates UVa., as the defendants.

Court documents indicate Love is demanding a jury trial in civil court and is seeking compensatory damages in the sum of $29.45 million.

The lawsuit lists several alleged instances where George Huguely abused alcohol, fought with a teammate or another person, or was arrested. The plaintiffs allege Starsia, Van Arsdale, Littlepage and the University did nothing to "discipline Huguely, to suspend or remove him from the lacrosse team, to refer him for treatment or counseling for alcohol/substance abuse or anger/aggressive behavior management, or to subsequently report his potential risk of violence."

Some of the alleged instances include:

- In 2007, Huguely was convicted of possession of alcohol by a minor

- In 2008, Huguely was convicted of public intoxication and resisting arrest in Lexington. He shouted obscenities at a female police officer and became so violent with her that she had to use a taser to subdue him

- In 2009, Huguely attacked a teammate who was asleep after he heard the teammate had been seen with Huguely's then-girlfriend, Yeardley Love. The teammate suffered a concussion. Starsia and Van Arsdale talked to Huguely and the teammate after the attack.

- Huguely attacked a female UVa. student whom he accused of telling her father, Huguely's high school lacrosse coach, about his drinking and violence.

- Huguely attacked a UVa. varsity tennis player who was walking with Yeardley Love on a street near Grounds.

- In Spring 2010, Huguely, while intoxicated, choked Yeardley Love at a party.

Starsia, Van Arsdale and Littlepage are accused of being negligent and grossly negligent for their: failures to act; performance of ministerial duties; and disregard of caution that compromised the safety of Yeardley Love. The commonwealth is accused of being liable for the alleged negligence of the defendants.

In February, a jury found Huguely guilty of second-degree murder and grand larceny in Love's death. The jury has recommended her serve 26 years, though he will be sentenced in August.

The Love family filed a $30.4 million wrongful death lawsuit against Huguely last week.

Both Starsia and Van Arsdale, who coached Huguely when he played lacrosse for UVa., are still coaches for the Cavaliers.

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