Samuel Harris Mason's BAC was .48% When Found Dead After Hazing Ritual
A mother is suing Tau Kappa Epsilon, the fraternity that her son was attempting to become a pledge to when he died of excessive alcohol consumption. By the time his body was found, his blood alcohol content was .48%, and the complaint alleges that at the time he was most in need of emergency medical care, it was probably even higher.
In her complaint, Ms. Mason claims that at a ritual hazing event, members of the fraternity encouraged her son Samuel to imbibe fatal quantities of alcohol which eventually rendered him so intoxicated that he suffered from alcohol poisoning. She further alleges that rather than obtaining emergency medical care, which her son desperately needed, members carried his body to another location, and left him where he eventually succumbed to the condition and died.
Essentially, the complaint charges the fraternity, its chapter, and the 7 named parties, with engaging in the hazing activity and also failing to secure emergency medical treatment.
The complaint sets forth the scenario that Omicron-Omega had a tradition of giving pledges alcohol to drink in three- and five-gallon red gas cans, marked "DRINK MAGGOT DRINK. " It states further that there was a tradition of Big Brothers gifting to their little brothers a bottle of the "family drink," which in Samuel's case was Crown Royal. In accordance with this ritual, the little brothers are instructed by the big brothers to finish the entire bottle of the family drink. Thus, according to the facts stated in the complaint, it is unclear exactly how much alcohol Samuel ingested, but it seems that he was encouraged to not only finish an entire bottle of Crown Royal but to also drink additional alcohol from a 3 or 5 gallon red gas can.
The complaint sets forth additional historical facts regarding the alarming rate in which fraternity and sorority students are killed from similar related alcohol binge drinking events.
The mother is seeking punitive and compensatory damages for wrongful death, under the theories of negligence, negligence per se, and willful/wanton misconduct, "arising from the execution , perpetuation, and failure to supervise dangerous fraternity traditions that constitute hazing."
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