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Parents file wrongful death suit against fraternity, school

A North Carolina family is mourning the death of a fraternity pledge who died during a hazing ritual in 2012. Now, family members of the 22-year-old victim who was rushing the Delta Sigma Phi chapter at High Point University have filed a wrongful death suit against the school, along with the fraternity, the university's director of security and a fraternity member. The wrongful death suit also includes allegations of assault and battery, along with negligence and civil conspiracy.

Official reports show that the young man died in 2012 from an overdose of painkillers. However, the pledge's body was also found to have suffered abrasions on the upper body and torso. Additional investigation has shown that the victim may have died because of a concussion he suffered during the fraternity hazing, which ultimately caused his death after suffocating on the contents of his own emesis.

The lawsuit contends that the fraternity's pledge director assaulted and harmed the victim. That pledge director happens to be the school president's son, according to news reports. The president of the university has unilaterally denied allegations that his son was involved in the hazing incident, saying that the allegations were falsified.

Family members also allege that the university officials knew about Delta Sigma Phi's ongoing history of "extreme and outrageous" pledge treatment, but no one took steps to stop the misconduct. The victim's parents are seeking damages in excess of $10,000 in connection with the suit. The university is characterizing the lawsuit as "unfounded," and officials have refused to comment on the pending litigation.

Family members who have lost a loved one because of someone else's negligence may be entitled to financial compensation for their experience. Wrongful death claims may result in financial damages for pain and suffering by the victim before death, along with emotional distress, funeral costs and other expenses. A North Carolina personal injury attorney may provide additional information for family members who are looking to obtain legal redress.

Source: New York Daily News, "N.C. fraternity pledge died in violent hazing ritual led by school president's son: lawsuit" Nina Golgowski, Mar. 24, 2014

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