The mother of a 19-year-old college student who died of alcohol poisoning during a fraternity hazing ritual has filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, a national fraternity.
The New York Times reports that George Desdunes of Brooklyn, NY, was a student at Cornell University when he participated in a “mock kidnapping” and was forced to drink alcohol until he passed out. The lawsuit alleges that Desdunes had his hands and feet bound with zip ties and duct tape during the hazing.
The lawsuit, filed by Marie Anfre, Desdunes’ mother, alleges that the fraternity members did not seek medical attention for her son after he passed out several times. Desdunes was found unconscious on a sofa the morning after the event and he was pronounced dead at a hospital. His blood alcohol content was five times the legal limit for driving at 0.409%.
Frat members allegedly removed the zip ties before the police arrived.
In filing the wrongful death lawsuit, Anfre is fighting against fraternities and the dangerous drinking rituals which results in the death of one student every year on average. Her attorney, William Friedlander, says that the wrongful death lawsuit is “not about the money” but about bringing change to fraternities.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the family of a person who has died due to the negligent or wrongful act of another. Wrongful death statutes allow the family to recover damages against the person or entity whose negligent or wrongful act caused the family member’s death. Wrongful death cases can arise from car accidents, medical negligence, criminal activities or activities such as sports or school activities.
In a case such as this one, not only may individuals be found liable but the organizations including the local fraternity chapter as well as the national parent fraternity may be included in the lawsuit.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are a personal injury law firm with more than 40 years representing families with their wrongful death claims.
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