Central Oregon Community College has settled a lawsuit filed by one of their students over a stabbing incident that occurred on Halloween night back in 2014. The student, James Briles, said in the suit that the had college failed to place him with a new roommate after being notified of his old roommate’s strange and scary behavior, despite multiple requests filed by Briles to the school.
After the requests, Briles’ roommate stabbed him repeatedly, apparently close to a dozen times, causing him to undergo multiple surgeries and spend six days in the hospital.
“COCC’s indemnity provider will be making a payment to Mr. Briles to assist with his medical expenses and ongoing treatment…Both parties are (pleased) to save all involved the need to revisit this tragic event in litigation” said Ron Paradis, spokesman for the college.
Although the settlement amount has not been revealed, Briles originally sought $500,000 in economic damages and $2,500,000 in noneconomic damages. The college maintained that the injuries were caused by a third party outside the school’s control.
The suit alleged that the school knew the roommate posed a safety threat, as Briles had filed multiple requests for a new roommate, and less than a week prior to the stabbing the roommate had screamed violently and repeatedly in the lobby of their college dorm, Juniper Hall. Campus Public Safety responded to the incident, noting that two other students also felt concern for their safety.
The roommate spent months in the state mental hospital after his arrest and pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Court records indicate he will be relying on a defense of guilty except for insanity.