The mother of Rebecca Ryan Lavin-Burgher, Elaine Marie Burgher, is suing Eckerd College, according to an article published by the Tampa Bay Times on Nov. 5. The lawsuit claims Eckerd’s party culture is to blame for her death.
Lavin-Burgher fell from a ladder in Bininger Theater the morning of her graduation, May 20, 2018. She died four days later on her birthday, May 24, 2018. The lawsuit claims Eckerd adopts a lackadaisical attitude toward drinking and drug culture on its campus.
The file mentions “parties” as one of the main locations students consume alcohol and use drugs. Students have access to alcohol when they are underage and drug use is not heavily monitored by campus officials, the lawsuit says.
A witness statement from the St. Petersburg Police Department said Lavin-Burgher was under the influence of cocaine, alcohol and marijuana, although a toxicology test nor autopsy was performed. Alcohol was present at the scene according to the Times article.
The lawsuit is a trial by jury case that is developing.