Arizona St. faces wrongful death suit in player's death

Updated: March 7, 2006, 7:58 AM ET
Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The father of a former Arizona State football player who was killed outside a nightclub here last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

B. Lee Falkner is suing the university, the state Board of Regents, Sun Devils football coach Dirk Koetter and former ASU athletic director Gene Smith, according to records filed Feb. 22 at Maricopa County Superior Court.

Falkner's lawsuit said that ASU officials "negligently failed to control" ASU football player Loren Wade, and that their failure to ensure and protect public safety led to his son's death.

The lawsuit also said Koetter "owed a duty to innocent members of the public to control the known violent tendencies of Wade."

Brandon Falkner, 25, was shot to death on March 26 outside the Coyote Bay Night Club.

After the shooting, ASU athletics officials acknowledged that Wade had a troubled history. Three women in five separate incidents had complained to the university, as well as Chandler and Scottsdale police, that Wade had threatened them in the weeks before the shooting.

ASU officials declined to comment, saying they hadn't seen the lawsuit.

Gene Smith, now Ohio State University's athletic director, also would not comment, according to a school spokesman.

Police said witnesses told them jealousy led to the shooting. They said Wade was angry that Brandon Falkner had spoken to his girlfriend.

Wade, 22, of Los Angeles, is scheduled to go on trial April 17.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press