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Newsletter > September 2022 > "Hazing Incident At Mizzou Leaves Phi Gamma Delta Pledge Blind"
Hazing Incident At Mizzou Leaves Phi Gamma Delta Pledge Blind
Hanna Puthoff,1 Fraternal Law Partners, firstname.lastname@example.org
In October 2021, Daniel Santulli was pledging the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity at the University of Missouri when he wound up in a hospital with a blood alcohol level of 0.486. The 19-year-old from Minnesota was allegedly forced by his fraternity brothers to drink an entire bottle of vodka, resulting in a blood alcohol level that exceeds a “lethal” level of 0.40, which can cause a coma or sudden death.
From the hospital in Columbia, Missouri, Santulli was transported to Denver, Colorado, where he spent nearly eight (8) months in rehabilitation. Today, Santulli cannot see, walk, or speak, and is suffering from extensive brain damage that has already required over $2 million worth of medical services, and will require continuous care.
Following the hazing allegations, the University of Missouri revoked Phi Gamma Delta’s recognition, and further sanctioned thirteen (13) individual members. The details of those individual disciplinary sanctions are unknown, as the records are protected under FERPA.
Additionally, the Santulli family filed a civil lawsuit against several individual and corporate defendants, but has now settled with all twenty-three (23) fraternity defendants, including the national fraternity.
Eleven (11) individuals also faced criminal liability for different charges. Back in June 2022, a grand jury indicted four (4) members on charges including felony hazing, misdemeanor supplying alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person, and felony tampering with evidence. As of late July 2022, charges were added against eight (8) additional former members. These latest criminal charges include life endangerment because of hazing, which is a felony when the act causes a risk to the life of the student/prospective member. Hearings on these pending criminal charges are scheduled for the next few months.
Missouri law classifies hazing and its criminal consequences by the risks created, notwithstanding any consent given by the affected party.
1 Hanna Putoff is a summer legal intern and she previous served as our planning co-op/intern before starting law school.
 ) Lindsay Lowe, 19-Year-Old Former College Student Left Blind, Unable to Walk After Hazing Incident, Today (June 9, 2022, 10:15 AM), https://www.today.com/news/news/19-year-old-former-college-student-left-blind-after-hazing-incident-rcna32719?fs=e&s=cl.
 Robert A. Cronkleton, 8 More Felony Hazing Charges Filed Against Former University of Missouri Frat Members, Kansas City Star (July 27, 2022, 12:17 PM), https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article263872557.html.