Parents of Caltech student who committed suicide on campus work to end $20 million lawsuit
By Jake Armstrong 04/14/2011
Attorneys for Caltech and the parents of a student who committed suicide on campus nearly two years ago are expected to reveal to a judge today whether they’ve settled or will head to trial over a wrongful death lawsuit against two top university administrators and three psychologists, according to court records.
Margaret and Delfin Go, parents of Caltech junior Brian Go, whose body was found atop a campus building May 17, 2009, are seeking upwards of $20 million from the research university in a lawsuit that accuses former dean John Hall, current dean Barbara Green and three school psychologists of failing to intervene after Go divulged he wanted to die following a suicide attempt on May 3.
The psychologists assigned to Go, a 20-year-old junior at the time, alternately categorized his mood as “mildly euthymic,” or having a somewhat normal range of emotions, and “dysthemic,” similar to chronic depression, in the two weeks prior to his death. But university staff did not notify his parents or take any other steps to have him further evaluated after Go told a concerned friend he was “struggling to find the will to go on” following a breakup with a female, according to the suit.
The lawsuit named Hall, Green and psychologists Helena Kopecky, Maggie Ateia and Kevin Austin as defendants.
Deborah Williams-Hedges, Caltech’s spokeswoman, on Monday said university officials had no comment at this time given the sensitive nature of the issue and its ongoing litigation.
Neither Margaret Go nor attorneys at the firm handling her case returned calls for comment.
Attorneys for all parties, who met with insurance companies last Friday for one final shot at mediation, are scheduled to appear today before Judge John Doyle at the Glendale Courthouse for a post-mediation status conference. The next hearing is scheduled May 13, when attorneys for the psychologists will ask the judge to rule on their clients’ involvement in the case.