HOUSTON - The Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., have been named in a lawsuit arising from a student's fall off a cliff last year.
John B. Berry Sr., of Houston, and his wife, Patricia, sued the entities for $1 million in Harris County District Court last month over the Aug. 27, 2012, incident which reportedly injured and incapacitated their son, John B. Berry Jr. , a student at the university also known as Sewanee. Houston federal court received the litigation on July 10.
The lawsuit claims that the area where the younger Berry fell lacked warning signs and that the university "had taken no action at all to warn against the dangers of standing near the cliff edge."
The original petition further claims several students have died as a result of accidentally going over the cliff, but the defendants "still do nothing."
The Berrys allege the school got statements from students before contacting the family, "in an effort to exonerate itself and find ways to blame the victim," the lawsuit states.
Consequently, the complainants seek more than $1 million in damages.
Attorney W. Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm P.C. in Houston is representing the Berrys.
Case No. 4:13-CV-2030