- CALIFORNIA ESTABLISHES SOCIAL HOST LIABILITY
- NEW SMALL BUSINESS AND NONPROFIT HEALTH CARE TAX CREDIT
- COLORADO COURT ISSUES IMPORTANT DISCOVERY DECISION
- PHI DELTA THETA, OTHERS SUED
- ANOTHER HAZING AND DRINKING DEATH LEADS TO LAWSUIT
- UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS RULES IN FAVOR OF LAMBDA CHI ALPHA, HOUSE CORPORATION AND ADVISOR
Newsletter > November 2010 > "PHI DELTA THETA, OTHERS SUED"
PHI DELTA THETA, OTHERS SUED
Tim Burke, Manley Burke, email@example.com
On October 18, 2010, Nicholas Brown and his family filed suit against Phi Delta Theta, its University of Arkansas chapter, the chapter’s house corporation, several officers and members of the chapter, and several university administrators.1 The suit also names defendants John Doe 1-100 (the other members of the chapter). This litigation grew out of an alleged hazing and drinking incident that occurred on November 12, 2009 during which, according to the complaint, “Nick Brown was nearly killed.” The lawsuit describes in some detail allegations of excessive drinking in the Phi Delta Theta house that in the weeks preceding this event had resulted in two “alcohol-related medical transports.” According to claims made in the suit, Brown was urged to consume alcohol at the party faster than other new members and urged on by his “big brother” because his big brother had bet on him.
Ultimately, Brown passed out and was taken to the local hospital where his blood alcohol level was measured at .68. The doctors told Brown’s family that he “would almost certainly die due to the level of alcohol poisoning, but if he did not die, he would be permanently brain dead or brain damaged.” In spite of that dire prediction, Brown was only hospitalized for several days and eventually left the hospital and returned to school. The lawsuit does not make clear what permanent injuries Brown has as a result of this incident, but makes claims for negligence and gross negligence, assault and battery, outrage, and also seeks temporary and permanent injunctive relief, as well as an unspecified amount of damages, including for loss of earning capacity.
Brown’s attorney has also indicated an intention to file separate litigation against the University of Arkansas for its alleged role in the events leading to Brown’s hospitalization. That lawsuit will have to be filed in a special Arkansas tribunal established to hear claims against state entities.
Phi Delta Theta, which enforces an alcohol-free housing policy, closed its University of Arkansas chapter. It later re-opened as a colony at Arkansas with entirely new members.
1 Brown, et al. v. Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Inc., et al.; Case No. 60CV 2010 5939 Pulaski County Circuit Court, 3rd Division.