February 1, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 22°F


Family of Anthony Nazaire sues Cornell University for his murder

The family of Anthony Nazaire, a former Ithaca College student, who was fatally stabbed at a Cornell University frat party in 2016, is suing the university for $20 million.

The family asserted that insufficient security measures at the university led to Nazaire’s death, according to the lawsuit. They are also claiming damages for Nazaire’s medical, funeral and burial expenses, the emotional toll of his death and the funds he would have contributed to his family throughout the course of his life.

Katia Toussaint, mother of Nazaire, filed the suit Aug. 2. Nazaire died Aug. 28, 2016, after being stabbed following a fight that occurred outside of an Omega Psi Phi fraternity orientation week party on the university’s campus. Senior Rahiem Williams, another student at Ithaca College, was also stabbed but survived the attack.

The lawsuit names the fraternity as a defendant because it hosted the event, located at Williard Hall, that Nazaire was at shortly before he was stabbed. It asserts that members of the fraternity were responsible for controlling who entered the event, which it claims was understaffed and improperly supervised, creating the circumstances under which Nazaire was attacked.

Officials from the national Omega Psi Phi organization and its Cornell chapter, Delta Mu, did not respond to requests for comment.

Toussaint is being represented by John Polinsky, an attorney at law firm Redne, Ryan & Downes, LLP. Polinsky did not respond to requests for comment.

Gillian Smith, media relations specialist at Cornell, relayed in an email that Joel Malina, vice president for university relations, declined to comment on the case.

“Anthony Nazaire and his family remain very much in the thoughts of the Cornell University community,” Malina said. “As with all active litigation, we are not able to offer comment while the case is pending.”

Nagee Green, the man convicted for Nazaire’s death, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree assault in November 2016. In June 2017, a jury convicted Green on second-degree assault charges but deadlocked on the murder charge. There was a retrial for the murder charge which began in September 2017, and Green was found guilty eight days later. Later that year, in November, Green was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Maggie McAden can be reached at mmcaden@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @maggie_mcaden