The family of a college student killed outside an after-party for a GW-sponsored event in March 2005 is suing the University and the South Asian Society for responsibility in their son’s death.
Ranjit Singh, 20, was visiting from his hometown of Phillipsburg, N.J., for the student organization annual Bhangra Blowout dance event on March 27, 2005. He was stabbed to death at about 2:45 a.m. during an altercation on the sidewalk outside of the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue, where the after-party was held. Singh’s father claims GW and SAS did not provide adequate security for the event, according to court documents.
University officials said the party, which attracted over 1,200 people, had 35 privately hired security guards. The Hatchet previously reported guests had to pass through metal detectors before entering the Old Post Office Pavilion, a federal building.
Singh’s lawyer Geoffrey Allen said the problem was the lack of security near the exits and outside the party. He added that proper intervention by guards could have prevented Singh’s murder.
“At a big event where there are a lot of people, a lot of drinking, there should be someone monitoring the exits,” Allen said. “It’s not uncommon for scores to be settled outside the exits in this manner; everyone knows that.”
GW Media Relations Director Tracy Schario said that they do not typically comment on active lawsuits, but she stressed that Singh was not killed at a GW event, but rather outside one.
“The incident happened after the party, and GW had no role in that at all,” Schario said.
SAS officers said Sunday that the lawsuit concerned club leaders from two years ago and that this year’s executive board is not aware of the suit’s details.
“It’s a new board; we honestly know nothing about it,”said senior Mala Nangia, SAS president. “I really can’t talk about anything.”
Karen Khan, the attorney defending the University and SAS, did not return several phone calls from The Hatchet last week.
Ranjit Singh’s father, Gurpal Singh, filed the wrongful death suit and is asking for survival action compensation. The compensation operates under the assumption that if Ranjit Singh had lived, he would have earned an income. The family would be awarded the estimated income he would have received, minus his expected living expenses.
The suit also seeks compensation for the conscious pain that Ranjit Singh suffered during the several minutes he was alive after being stabbed in the chest, and for the value of any services they would have received from their son.
In addition to GW and SAS, the Singhs are also suing Falcon Security and Sectek Inc., who provided the security guards for the party. They are also pursuing action against Hill Partners Inc., who manages the property where the murder took place, as well as the General Services Administration of the U.S. Government, who leased the property out.
Allen said the family is simply seeking to find who is at fault. “I think someone is responsible.”
-David Ceasar contributed to this report.