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Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

18-year-old injured in fall from sixth floor of U-M's Mary Markley dorm

By Cindy Heflin

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note that limiters were on Mary Markley windows before Courtney Cantor's death.

University of Michigan police are investigating what caused an 18-year-old’s 43-foot fall out of a sixth-floor window at Mary Markley residence hall in the early morning hours of Nov. 18.

The man, an Ohio resident, was visiting friends on campus and suffered significant injuries, University of Michigan police spokeswoman Diane Brown said. He was apparently on the ground outside the dormitory for several hours before anyone discovered his injuries.

He was treated at University Hospital after the fall but has since been released, Brown said. She said she could not provide information about whether he went home or to another hospital or any information about his condition. The university did not release his name.

MARKLEY HALL 1-3 lew.JPG.jpeg

Mary Markley residence hall

File photo

Mary Markley, a freshman co-ed residence hall, is the same dormitory from which University of Michigan student Courtney Cantor fell to her death on Oct. 16, 1998. Cantor also fell out a sixth-floor window, but her fall was 58 feet, investigators said at the time. Because Markley is built into a hillside, part of the building is below ground level.

Limiters, which are devices to keep the windows from opening all the way, were in place on the windows at the time of Cantor's death, as they are today, said Peter Logan, director of communications for University Housing.

In the Nov. 18 incident, police believe the man went out the window between 4 and 7 a.m. “Around 9 a.m., he was able to get himself near the front door area, kind of around the corner, and someone let him in,” Brown said. He then contacted his friends and they took him to the emergency room, she said.

Brown said she could not elaborate on the nature of his injuries.

University of Michigan police were not aware of the incident until the afternoon of Nov. 19, when they were notified by housing security, who had been told about it by university risk management personnel, who were informed by the hospital, Brown said.

The investigation has not yet determined whether the man had been drinking or using drugs, Brown said, and it’s not clear why the man went out the window. Other people were in the room sleeping when the incident happened, she said.

“We’ve not received any information of foul play,” Brown said. “At this time there’s nothing that indicates this was anything other than an accident.”

It's not clear how far the window was open. It was not broken, Brown said.

Brown said the university does not believe anyone witnessed the man’s fall. But she encouraged anyone who may have information to call police at 734-763-1131

Asked to comment about whether there are concerns about the safety of the windows at Markley, University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald noted the police investigation is still ongoing. “Part of that is taking another look at the windows that do have limiters on them that limit how far they open. I’m not sure that we know enough about this situation yet to take any further action, but obviously we’re very interested in the investigation continuing.”

Cantor, 19, fell through the window in her sixth-floor dorm room sometime in the early-morning hours of Oct. 16, 1998, and onto concrete 58 feet below. Her body was found about 5 a.m. near a loading dock by a food service employee reporting to work.

Authorities said Cantor had been drinking earlier that night at a fraternity party but was not legally drunk when she fell. An investigation was unable to determine exactly what happened, but investigators speculated that Cantor might have been trying to open or shut the window from her loft bed when she fell out.

Several members of a fraternity, which was disbanded after Cantor's death, pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Cantor’s father, George Cantor, settled a lawsuit against the university for $100,000. Cantor, who was a Detroit News columnist at the time, said he sued U-M because a lawsuit is a way to bring about change. The suit alleged that U-M was negligent in protecting his daughter and that the windows of her dorm, Mary Markley Hall, were unsafe. The suit, which sought damages in excess of $10,000, said U-M had a contractual obligation to warn his daughter about the dangers of alcohol and drug use.

George Cantor died in 2010 at the age of 69.


Dr. Fate

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

Sadly, another teenager finds out he does not have superpowers. The hard way.


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

We already know what the cause WASN'T: an overabundance of judgement ability, competence or intelligence. Right? Fall off Mt. Everest: sue Nepal for not installing safety equipment on the mountain. That's about the level of sanity such incidents as this represent: Hold others responsible for not keeping us safe, no matter what. When did "others" become infinitely responsible for keeping everyone safe, regardless of whether "everyone" follows common sense rules (or even the rules of gravity)?? At some spots, the Grand Canyon is 6000 feet deep. Do we fill it in because some people choose to stand on its rim in windy weather?? Oh and where is it written that buildings all must be built with windows from which it's impossible to fall out of?? Loss of children and youth is always tragic, sometimes devastatingly so. But have children and youth stopped dying because of our feelings? Any parent who thinks a university should be held infinitely accountable for the death of their child should first have to show they are providing perfect (not just lucky) protection of that child before they are allowed to sue. Buildings with walls 10 feet thick and windows so small no ambulatory human of any age could get through will proliferate - or - public buildings of all kinds will disappear because they present some tiny danger to human life.


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

Given the frequency at which college age kids fall out of dormitory windows I think they need to put safety measures in place. There was a similar incident at MSU just last year.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

I remember back in the Sixties when we had a blizzard that buried SE Michigan. A bunch of State kids jumped out the dorm windows into the big drifts. Unfortunately, the "drifts" were actually cars, and some kids ended up in the hospital. College kids do some dumb things, as do we all (I would assume). Here's to survival.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

Very unfortunate accident. I'm wondering, however, why we aren't learning the names of these individuals. This person is 18 years old, an adult, and his name is not being released. Why? It doesn't sound like this person was a student, based on the article. Is UM stopping the release because it happened on their property, and if so, is this legal? Also, we did not learn the name of the person who jumped from the parking structure this week and died, unfortunately. Why no name in that case either?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

Unless these individuals are charged with crimes and arraigned, I don't think the public has any right to know the names of persons who sustain injuries or commit suicides, for example. I, for one, respect their (and their family's) privacy and give that the priority over any curiosity I might have about who they are or were. There might be exceptions but none immediately come to mind.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

I hope the University will consider replacing the windows with a less dangerous type. Leaving those windows there while they know how dangerous they are leaves them open to some serious liability. Wait till a sober honor student sits on a window ledge and loses his or her balance and you could see a big judgement happening. Even if they don't care about their students, they should do this just to protect themselves.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

This is a somewhat similar story from, I believe, April of this year. I never saw any follow-up on as to why he was on the roof and whether or not he was ever charged with any crime.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

Totally agree. See my post below. Is UM allowed to suppress the information, such as details about these activities, such as the cancer center fall, the name and the circumstances, if drugs or alcohol was involved, etc? Same as this article, the male who fell from Markley's window. Why no names? Is UM allowed to suppress this kind of info?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

"The suit... said U-M had a contractual obligation to warn his daughter about the dangers of alcohol and drug use" Really? REALLY? And he won. He won the suit of blaming U of M for his daughter's death because they didn't meet their contractual obligations to warn her of the dangers of alcohol and drug use. This is almost as bad as the hot McDonald's coffee suit. Which was also won by the accuser. Which is also ridiculous.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 6:41 p.m.

He didn't "win" the lawsuit. The University settled the lawsuit before trial for a relatively small amount of money (not that 100K is really a small amount of money, but it's also not millions) - probably because it was less expensive to settle than to go through a trial, and because the U didn't want the bad publicity from fighting against the sympathetic father of a dead girl. My guess would be that if the U had refused to settle, they would have won the lawsuit and paid Mr. Cantor nothing - but would have spent more than 100K on the trial.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

Regardless of how it happened, it shouldn't happen. This is kid and he should be safe at school under any circumstance. Maybe addressing the window situation should be a priority.

Dr. Fate

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

Maybe addressing the stupid teenager tricks problem should be a priority.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

It is odd that this is just being made public now.

Ann English

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

My first thought was that his "friends" were false friends, and that they pushed him out the window because he is an Ohioan. Why publicize the story now? Because the Michigan-Ohio State game is over. It would have been easy to sensationalize this story if it had come out the next day, or even the next week. I know, spouses and siblings can attend competing universities and maintain good relationships, so friends can, too.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

My experience with these windows shower me that even though staff made sure the stops were in place every summer, we'd find some missing come the next year. Was it magic or students wanting to walk the ledges?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

This place must be haunted. So many people have fallen out these windows over the years and its often unexplained. I worked in this building and know how intimidating these open windows are, I had to clean them. Why don't they replace them? It's not like UofM can't afford it.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

The graveyard is on the south side of the building- creepy enough

Ron Granger

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Bar the windows Mary.

Rod Johnson

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

I think the headline (and story) are a little misleading. He might have fallen from "the sixth floor" but he only fell four floors. 43 feet is not six stories except in Munchkinland maybe. (Still, that's a hellacious fall--he's lucky to be alive.)

Rod Johnson

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 : 4:59 a.m.

Explained what? Did I say something untrue here, or claim that the article did? My only point is that the headline is a little misleading--he didn't fall six floors, he fell four floors.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

I don't see any note that the article was updated, but yeah that point is covered pretty clearly at the moment.

Captain Wow

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

Did you read the article? they explained that.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

It IS six floors, this picture shows the side of the building that only has four stories. (The building is built into a hill).


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Why is this being reported now? Did I miss the original story?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Thanks Cindy. I meant why are the police only reporting it now. Seems like something should have been released sooner.

Cindy Heflin

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Dancing: This is the first story on this incident. We only became aware of this incident yesterday.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.



Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

I used to live on the sixth floor of Markley. In fact you can see my window from the photo above. Before they changed the windows it was easy to get out and walk around on the concrete ledge. Lots of idiots would do it to go from room to room, stone cold sober I might add.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

Right. I don't know where this spokesperson is getting the info that there were limiters on the windows. Ms. Cantor fell from a window that require no effort at all to get through it. It does not matter, if someone wants out they will get out.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

He's lucky....last time this happened the poor girl died.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

reeding iz fer loozerz


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

yes, as anyone who read the article would know.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

I am really glad this guy survived and I feel horrible that he sat out there and suffered. That is just awful. With that said, I don't think we need any more "change" because two out of thousands of people had an accident. It's not like they were sucked into a vortex. Ask yourself this question: have you ever fallen out of a window? I don't get it.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Nailed it. I have been close a few times but never all the way out. (Dripping with sarcasm)