MOSCOW, Idaho-- The family of Katy Benoit, the University of Idaho graduate student killed by her former professor, can now pursue a lawsuit against the school.
Benoit and Ernesto Bustamante were involved in a relationship, which turned sour. Benoit filed complaints with the university in June that stated Bustamante threatened her with a gun during their relationship.
Bustamante shot and killed Benoit in August before killing himself.
Benoit’s family filed a $3 million claim against the school in December. In the document, her parents state the university negligently and recklessly hired, retained and supervised Bustamante.
It goes on to say the institution failed to do its duty to protect their daughter from Bustamante. The claim argues that the school’s lack of action was a substantial factor in Benoit’s murder.
Her parents list several concerns that the school was reportedly aware of before Benoit’s death, including that Bustamante said he had multiple personalities like “The Beast” and “The Psychopathic Killer.” The claim also states that Bustamante told Benoit he killed 50 people in his younger years. The university was advised that Bustamante was involved in abusive sexual relationships in the past.
The university had 90 days to file a response. The deadline came and went this week without any action from U of I, according to the Idaho Statesman. The Benoit family is now free file to a lawsuit. Other media outlets report that a suit had not been filed as of Friday afternoon.
Late last year, the faculty suggested using stronger language to discourage relationships between professors and students.