The parents of a Penn State University student who died after “writhing and deteriorating” in front of fraternity members nearly two years ago after being forced to consume large amounts of alcohol, have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit, naming 28 frat members who hazed their son, Tim Piazza, 19.
According to a video obtained by USA Today, Piazza fell down a set of stairs following a drinking ritual at a fraternity called “the Gauntlet.” He suffered a lacerated spleen, a skull fracture and other injuries that would have been survivable if he had received quick medical help. Instead, he died two days later.
“This lawsuit filing, and announcement of our sweeping out-of-court settlement with the university, marks two milestone developments in this long and difficult journey of Jim and Evelyn Piazza as they fight for the full measure of justice – and permanent Greek life reforms – in memory of their son following his preventable death,” said Thomas Kline, the attorney for Piazza’s parents, via a press release.
“The complaint, which also follows last December’s landmark settlement with the national fraternity of Beta Theta Pi, is necessary to avert future tragedies. With the assistance of recovered fraternity house interior surveillance video, and text messages amongst the defendants, we intend to hold all those responsible for Tim’s death fully accountable. Only through the civil justice process can these objectives be accomplished.”
The lawsuit alleges the fraternity members realized the “grave consequences of their conduct” and tried to conceal evidence surrounding the hazing. The lawsuit alleges negligence, civil conspiracy, battery and infliction of emotional distress.
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