Fairfield Student Pub Crawl Death Case Settled

A settlement has been reached in a pub crawl death case involving a Connecticut college student and two former University of Rhode Island students.

Lawyers say Jarrad Rocheleau and Loren Welsh, both 26, reached the agreement with the parents of Francis J. Marx V, who accused them of fighting with their son during a night of drinking in Newport five years ago.  As the three were scuffling, the lawsuit claims Marx, the Fairfield University senior, fell into the path of a bus being used for a pub crawl. He was crushed to death.

The wrongful death lawsuit was resolved before closing arguments Tuesday in a case that began two weeks ago in Providence Superior Court, Lauren Wilkins, a lawyer for Rocheleau, said.

Rocheleau and Welsh did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

"There was absolutely no admission of liability," Wilkins said. "None."

Terms were not disclosed but Wilkins said the settlement was for substantially less than the $5 million sought by Marx's parents. Lawyers for Welsh and the Marx family did not immediately return phone calls to the Associated Press.

Marx, of Richboro, Pa., was out with friends after attending a formal dance at one of Newport's mansions with his girlfriend. He was part of a heated argument with a group of URI students celebrating their impending graduation with a pub crawl.

Marx's parents said he was pushed to the ground and fell beneath the wheel of a bus carrying students on their bar tour. Lawyers for Rocheleau and Welsh said they never pushed Marx and suggested he had been drinking heavily that night and fell backward on his own.

"A whole host of decisions were made that night, and none of them were great decisions, I'm sure," Wilkins said.

State prosecutors convened a grand jury to investigate, but no criminal charges were brought.

The city of Newport was dismissed from the lawsuit before the start of trial.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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