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Car accidents: Fraternity faces wrongful death lawsuit

The national fraternity Kappa Sigma is not new to publicity about controversial hazing procedures forced on new pledges. As early as 2001, the fraternity has had chapters suspended or banned from different universities across the country. The fraternity's most recent chapter suspension has occurred at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, following one of the area's tragic car accidents involving a pledge.

During the university's homecoming week a year ago, pledges were allegedly deprived of their sleep. The pledge involved in the accident apparently did not sleep for 72 hours prior to the accident as part of the fraternity's hazing ritual. Pledges were tasked to do whatever was asked of them and would be punished if they were discovered asleep. As the pledge was driving home, he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into an unsuspecting victim. The pledge alerted his parents to the accident but was unaware that he had hit another person.

Once his parents arrived at the scene of the accident, it was clear that a tragedy had taken place. The victim did not survive the accident. Although the university has not revealed the reason for the chapter's suspension, it was suspended following the investigation of the fatal accident.

Both the victim and the driver's families have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the fraternity and have named other potential related negligent parties in the lawsuit. Although the driver survived, he and his family have claimed to have suffered unnecessary and irreversible emotional trauma. Both families believe that the student's death could have been easily prevented. Any Louisiana family that has suffered loss from similar car accidents may also have an applicable case to file a wrongful death in civil court.

Source: theadvertiser.com, "Lawsuits: Hazing led to tragic death of UL student", Kristin Askelson, Nov. 9, 2017

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