Father Sues Mass. University Over Daughter’s Drug Death

April 11, 2006

The father of Clark University freshman who died of a heroin overdose two years ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming lax supervision contributed to his daughter’s death.

Michele C. Bash’s death could have been prevented if Clark officials provided more student counseling and kept drug dealers off campus, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Worcester Superior Court by Daniel Bash.

The 18-year-old from Long Island, N.Y., overdosed in March 2004. Her boyfriend, Matthew Book, found her unconscious when he awoke in her dorm room after the pair spent the night walking around campus, he told police.

The lawsuit names the university, its president, administrative staff, police leaders, and Book as defendants.

The suit claims Clark officials knew in September 2003 that Bash was in trouble when police responded to her dorm after she got drunk and vomited in a bathroom.

In the fall 2003, Bash told her parents that she experimented with heroin while on campus. In February, Bash’s parents spoke to Clark officials about the need to monitor their daughter’s behavior, the suit said.

Clark spokeswoman Elaine Cinelli would not comment because school lawyers hadn’t seen the complaint.

Book, of Dallas, did not immediately return a call. Book told police that Bash offered him soda when they returned to her dorm room after walking around campus, and he said he believed the soda contained heroin.

Book no longer attends Clark.

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