The father of slain pharmacology student Annie Le GRD ’13, Hoang Le, told the News on Wednesday that he does not support the wrongful death lawsuit between his daughter’s estate and Yale — but despite the fact that his objections could stop the suit, he does not plan to intervene.
Two legal experts told the News last week that Annie Le’s parents, Hoang Le and his ex-wife, Vivian Le, have the same legal right to decide whether or not to sue the University. Although attorney Glorie Romaniello, the court-appointed administrator for Annie Le’s estate, is the official plaintiff in the case, Vivian Le has been the public face of the suit. If the estate wins its case, Hoang Le will have the right to claim half of the judgment against Yale.
Still, Hoang Le said he would not accept any share of the money.
“I have to earn my own money, so I don’t want anything else,” Hoang Le said. “Once the case was closed [when admitted murderer Raymond Clark III was sentenced in June], I just wanted her to have a peaceful rest. I don’t want everything to come back and remind me of her.”
Hoang Le appeared alongside his ex-wife and other family members at Clark’s June 3 sentencing hearing at New Haven Superior Court. There, both parents spoke publicly about their loss.
From that moment on, Hoang Le said, he had no intention of becoming involved in any suit, and was simply hoping to move on from the tragedy.
“I’ve put this out of my life, and I just want to forget,” Hoang Le said. “I don’t want to hear or be involved in anything of this nature.”
The suit asks for unspecified damages “significantly greater” than the minimum $15,000 in damages needed to qualify the case for Connecticut Superior Court.
Vivian Le is the only member of Annie’s family who has publicly spoken in favor of the suit. James Bui, Vivian Le’s brother and Annie Le’s uncle, told the News last week that he did not support the litigation and would stop it if he had the legal right to do so.
Tuyet Bui and Robert Nguyen, the aunt and uncle who raised Annie Le, have denied several requests for comment, but James Bui said they told him that they oppose the suit.
In the complaint, Romaniello alleges that Yale is liable for Le’s death on Sept. 8, 2009, for 11 reasons. One of these is the University’s role in “fostering an atmosphere of tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assaults” on campus, which the complaint links to potential violations of Title IX regulations currently under investigation by the federal government.
Five Connecticut civil attorneys told the News earlier this month that they did not expect the estate to win its case. Some, however, said they believe Yale and the Le estate will likely reach an out-of-court settlement, keeping the case from reaching a trial.
University spokesman Tom Conroy declined to comment on Hoang Le’s statement.