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Family of UC San Diego student who fell from 8th story dorm sues the university

The lawsuit alleges windows in UCSD's Tioga Hall were unsafe and not equipped with any safety devices.

SAN DIEGO — The family of a UC San Diego freshman who fell to his death from an 8-story window in October 2021 is suing the university, alleging the dorm building's windows were unsafe and did not have any safety devices on them.

Aaron Fan, who was an 18-year-old freshman from Poway, died on October 22, 2021 after he fell from an 8th-story bathroom window at UC San Diego's Tioga Hall during UCSD's homecoming weekend.

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An autopsy revealed that Fan had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 percent - the legal limit for driving is under 0.08 percent. The medical examiner ruled Fan's death accidental.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in May 2022 by attorneys from the Gomez Law Firm, the building windows were not equipped with any safety devices and were located close to the floor, allowing for someone to fall through the opening. 

The complaint states Fan and other students attended a gathering that Friday night. Just before midnight, a security guard arrived at the gathering. Several students, including Fan, "moved to the student bathroom."

While inside, the complaint states that Fan fell out of the window. He died the following day. 

The lawsuit claims that UC San Diego was negligent for not recognizing what attorneys say was a "reasonably foreseeable risk" and that university officials had been aware of the dangerous design.

The Tioga Hall windows, reads the lawsuit, "did not have an adequate window barrier or screen, so when opened outward, the windows were hazardously uncovered, with a dangerously sizeable amount of space, to where a  person's body could fully enter the spacing of the opening, and fall through the open space of the windows."

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However, the windows were not the only issue that contributed to Fan's death, according to his family's attorneys. They say that UCSD failed to properly supervise the dorm rooms, allowing for parties and other gatherings inside dorm rooms. And, according to the lawsuit, only one security guard arrived to break up the gathering and was without adequate support to ensure that the students remained safe.

"[The family has] suffered the loss of love, companionship, comfort, enjoyment, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support, training, and guidance from the loss of their son, Aaron Fan," reads the lawsuit.

CBS 8 reached out to UC San Diego. A spokesperson said the university could not comment on pending litigation but said that "the safety of students, faculty, and staff is our highest concern."

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