ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Los Angeles Police Department Officer Suzan Nelson holds photos of Chinese foreign exchange students Ming Qu (bottom) and Ying Wu (top) at a press conference to announce a USD $125,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the murder of the two University of Southern California (USC) students from China, during a news conference April 13, 2012 in the Los Angeles street where the murders occured two days ago. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
A Los Angeles judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the University of Southern California over its claims of campus safety.
The suit had been brought by the parents of Ying Wu and Ming Qu, two electrical engineering graduate students from China who were gunned down in an off-campus neighborhood last April during what police believe is was a botched robbery.
The shootings shook the USC student body and generated discussion over safety in and around the South L.A. campus.
The parents filed a lawsuit that claimed the USC website misled the students by touting the school’s safety and security measures, including off-campus security guards.
But Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson ruled the suit was factually insufficient.
He said that although the university’s reputation played a role in the students’ decision to attend USC, that reputation is not what killed them.
It was the second time Johnson ruled in favor of the university. His earlier ruling allowed the plantiffs to amend their suit for reconsideration.
The parents' attorney Alan Burton Newman said his clients would have dropped the lawsuit had USC removed the safety claim off its website.
"We are not doing it just for the money but for the other students from China,” said Newman.
Attorney Debra Wong Yang, representing the University of Southern California, said the campus is safe.
“I have great sympathy for the family,” said Yang. “As tragic as it is, there is a criminal court proceeding that is supposed to happen that will bring (the alleged killers) to justice.”
Bryan Barnes and Javier Bolden await criminal trial in jail for the fatal shootings. The trial is scheduled for this spring.
The parents did not attend Friday's hearing. Newman said they plan to appeal the suit's dismissal.