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September 04, 2015

Family sues UPenn, Amazon over student's suicide

Former UPenn student Arya Singh took her life on February 8, 2013, by ingesting cyanide procured online through Amazon.com

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The family of a former University of Pennsylvania student who committed suicide has filed a lawsuit against the university, Amazon.com and a cyanide vendor in Thailand in connection to the young woman's death.

The complaint, filed in the Common Pleas court in July, claims that undergraduate student Arya Singh, a junior in the School of Nursing, was a victim of a sexual assault by a male student in 2011 and became increasingly distraught during the period leading up to her death on February 8, 2013, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Despite Singh reporting the incident to authorities, no charges were brought against the suspect, who remained on campus. From that point forward, the suit claims, Singh's mental health deteriorated, resulting in her neglect of academics and an arrest and hospitalization for alcohol intoxication.

"Despite Arya's problems," the suit states, "university employees' conduct toward her was unsympathetic, hostile, and at times vindictive."

On December 7, 2012, Singh purchased soluble cyanide crystals from a vendor on Amazon.com, named in the suit as a citizen from Thailand and his company.

In the run-up to her death, Singh was was scheduled for a February 8 disciplinary hearing in relation to an academic misconduct investigation. She was barred from registering for classes and told she had to vacate her campus house, according to the suit. She was found unresponsive by her roommate that afternoon.

University of Pennsylvania spokesman Ron Ozio declined to comment on the case, while a lawyer representing Amazon said that the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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