2007_01_imettestguillen.jpgThe first lawsuit has been filed by the family of Imette St. Guillen, the graduate student who was brutally murdered last February. The Post reports that St. Guillen's family believes "her death resulted directly from negligence of the owner of the now-shuttered Falls Bar and the brutality of its employee, [Darryl] Littlejohn, a paroled violent felon."

Falls owner Michael Dorrian also did not initially cooperate with the police during the investigation. The lawsuit specifically notes that due to the actions of Dorrian and suspect Littlejohn "[St. Guillen] endured conscious pain and suffering and was aware of her impending death." St. Guillen was raped, strangled, and dumped into a vacant lot off the Belt Parkway.

The family's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, says that this will be the "first step in holding those responsible for this tragedy accountable" - lawsuits are expected against Division of Parole, the Board of Parole and the Department of Correction for not keeping tabs on Littlejohn. Tacopina added that while the lawsuits could mean tens of millions in damages, the family is not looking for money.

Littlejohn is still at Rikers; it's unclear when he will go on trial.