PISCATAWAY, N.J., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- New Jersey's Rutgers University denied responsibility for the suicide of an 18-year-old freshman secretly taped kissing another man in his dorm room.
It made the denial after being notified by the parents of freshmen Tyler Clementi they may seek damages from the university for their son's suicide, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported.
"We at the university share the family's sense of loss of their son, who was a member of our community," the university said in a statement.
"We also recognize that a grieving family may question whether someone or some institution could somehow have responsibility for their son's death," the statement continued. "While the university understands this reaction, (Rutgers) is not responsible for Tyler Clementi's suicide".
The claim notice, sent to the university Friday and first reported by The Star-Ledger, preserves the family's right to sue Rutgers for failing to act against two students who allegedly used a Web cam to secretly view Clementi kissing the man.
Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, and Rutgers student Molly Wei allegedly spied on Clementi with a Web cam Sept. 19, and Ravi then sent a message on the Twitter microblogging service that he had seen Clementi "making out with a dude".
Clementi later jumped off the George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City.
Ravi and Wei, both 18, were charged with invasion of privacy. They later left the university.
"Subject to further investigation, it appears that Rutgers University failed to act, failed to put in place, and/or failed to implement, and enforce policies and practices that would have prevented or deterred such acts, and that Rutgers University failed to act timely and appropriately," the claim notice said.
No lawsuit has been filed and "a decision as to whether to file suit against Rutgers University in the future has not been made," Clementi family lawyer Paul Mainardi said in a statement.
By law, the family has six months after filing the tort notice to decide whether to file lawsuit, the Rutgers statement acknowledging receipt of the notice said. UPI