In the story about a lawsuit over an assault in a Boston University dormitory, the Globe reports that BU’s lawyers raised the argument of the student’s failure to use the sturdy door lock provided (“Dorm assault tests colleges’ supervision,” Page A1, Jan. 5). According to the article, “in response, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Rosemary Connolly . . . admonished university attorneys for seeming to blame the victim.”

Such a judicial admonition has no place in this negligence action. The student is not suing the perpetrator. She is suing BU, a third party, for negligence in providing security. It is fundamental law that comparative negligence — the plaintiff’s own — is always a proper defense in a negligence case.


If security is to be guaranteed, the solution is simple: a return to separate dormitories for men and women, a midnight curfew, and no men allowed above the first floor of the women’s dorm.

Brian R. Merrick

West Barnstable

The writer is a retired first justice of the Orleans District Court.