The family of slain University of Utah track athlete Lauren McCluskey has reached a $13.5 million settlement with the school.
The settlement was announced Thursday, which was the second anniversary of her death. University of Utah President Ruth Watkins said the school “acknowledges and deeply regrets that it did not handle Lauren’s case as it should have.”
Under the settlement, the state of Utah will pay the McCluskeys $10.5 million by March 31. The University will contribute $3 million to the Lauren McCluskey Foundation by the same date.
The school also pledged to build an indoor track facility that will have her name by Dec. 31, 2030. If the facility is not finished by that time, then the school will make an additional $3 million contribution to the foundation no later than June 30, 2031.
The university also will rename its Center for Violence Prevention as the McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention.
“We share with the McCluskeys an interest in working to improve safety for all students, not only on our campus but on campuses across the country,” Watkins said Thursday. “With our commitment to learning from our mistakes, we honor Lauren and ensure her legacy will be improved campus safety for all students.”
Melvin Rowland, the man McCluskey dated for just a few weeks, kidnapped and shot McCluskey seven times in October 2018 before taking his own life.
Two months after her death, Watkins said that an internal review hadn’t found anything to suggest that her death could have been prevented.
McCluskey’s family filed a suit in June, alleging that before her death, she turned over photographs Rowland used to blackmail her to officer Miguel Deras, who McCluskey’s parents claim saved the images and shared them with other officers.
Deras’s attorney told KSL NewsRadio in May that the allegations were “absolutely untrue.”
The McCluskeys filed a separate lawsuit for civil rights allegations, claiming that their daughter’s case was treated differently due to her gender. The family sought $56 million for both suits.