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Newsletter > January 2003 > "MIT — THE FRATERNITY SETTLEMENT EMPHASIZES EDUCATION AND PREVENTION"
MIT — THE FRATERNITY SETTLEMENT EMPHASIZES EDUCATION AND PREVENTION
Timothy M. Burke, Manley Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Kruger died at the age of 18 during his freshman year at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology. He attended a Phi Gamma Delta party where he was a pledge and consumed alcohol to the point that he lapsed into a coma and died three days after the party. Now, more than five years later, the litigation brought against the fraternity, its chapter and several of the individual members and officers of the Chapter has ended in a settlement.
Scott Kruger’s death resulted in a series of reactions. The local district attorney indicted the Phi Gamma Delta Chapter at MIT for manslaughter and hazing. That indictment was later dismissed when the Chapter went out of existence and there was no legal entity left to prosecute. MIT revoked the diploma that had been issued to the Chapter’s pledge trainer, who is alleged to have served the alcohol to Scott Kruger. The Kruger family reached a separate settlement with MIT two years ago in which MIT agreed to contribute $1.25 million for scholarships to be established by the Kruger family and to pay the Kruger family an additional $4.75 million to be used as the Krugers determined.
Combined, the fraternity and several members of the Chapter will pay $1.75 million to the Kruger family. Phi Gamma Delta has agreed that they will not reorganize another chapter at MIT until at least 2007. The Fraternity will also produce two separate videos – one for use on campuses and another directed at high school students. The videos will “use Scott’s tragic death as a cornerstone” and will, according to the fraternity, “further augment the aggressive program on pro-active alcohol education that Phi Gamma Delta already delivers to its membership.” At the suggestion of the Kruger family, the videos and a series of seminars will feature the Chief of Emergency Medicine from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. Richard M. Schwartzstein, M.D.
As the litigation over Scott Kruger’s death came to an end, Phi Gamma Delta released a statement that while they were providing compensation to the Scott Kruger family, “neither the family nor fraternity believes this is the important part of the settlement – the ongoing education to prevent another tragedy is the goal of the settlement. We intend to deliberately and aggressively implement these actions in hopes of preventing another family from suffering what Scott’s has endured.”