Mom Sues Amazon, UPenn Over Daughter's Suicide

Family says she killed herself with cyanide bought online
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2015 8:30 AM CDT
Mom Sues Amazon, UPenn Over Daughter's Suicide
File photo of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Mark Stehle)

A nursing student's suicide has led to a two-pronged lawsuit by her family against both her school and Amazon. Arya Singh, a 20-year-old nursing student at the University of Pennsylvania, killed herself in 2013 by ingesting cyanide crystals she bought from the online retailer, says the lawsuit cited by NBC News. Her mother, Sujata Singh, blames Amazon for that sale, and she also blames the university for contributing to the mental anguish that drove her daughter to suicide in the first place. The lawsuit says Arya Singh was sexually assaulted by a classmate in 2011, and it accuses the school of mishandling the investigation—no charges were filed—and of ignoring Singh's trauma afterward. As a result, her grades and behavior went into a downward spiral, the family alleges.

"Despite Arya's problems, university employees' conduct toward her was unsympathetic, hostile, and at times vindictive," the suit says, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. She killed herself after being informed by the school that she'd no longer be able to register for classes and would have to leave her campus house, and the lawsuit says Amazon made it too easy for her to commit suicide. She bought the crystals from a Thai vendor on the site, and the suit alleges 11 similar deaths. Amazon has since banned the sale of cyanide products. Neither the company nor the school would comment on the lawsuit. (At another college, a man fell to his death while trying to prevent a suicide.)

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