Law student dies after fall in Chicago

A GW Law student died Monday night after a two-story fall in Chicago.

Eric Fatla, 26, died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after falling down the stairs at the Union League Club in Chicago on Christmas Eve. Police say his death appears to be an accident.

He died at 1:02 p.m., the Chicago Tribune reported, citing the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Fatla and his father, Ed, went to to the Union League Club for dinner on Christmas Eve. Ed Fatla went to the restroom. When he exited, he found Eric Fatla at the bottom of the stairs, professor Jonathan Turley, who has been in contact with Ed and Marcia Fatla, said.

The family does not know what caused the fall but plans to ask the Union Lee Club for its security tapes, Turley said.

Fatla was home in Illinois for the holidays.

“Eric was just a wonderful person. He had an expectationally bright future,” Turley, Fatla’s torts professor, said. “He packed a lot into what is now a tragically short life.”

Interim Law School Dean Gregory Maggs said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that Fatla’s death “saddens the entire GW Law community.”

“When a student with such wonderful potential is taken from us, we all deeply feel the loss,” Maggs said. “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family, friends, and classmates during this difficult time.”

Fatla, a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan Univeristy, worked as a congressional staffer for former U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Ill.

“I cannot express the profound sadness over the loss of Eric who was a brilliant young man with an extraordinary background and an even brighter future,” Turley said in a blog post.

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