Parents of Georgia Teen File Lawsuit for Fraternity Hazing Death


August 26, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – August 17, 2018 (cbsnews.com) The parents of a teenager from Georgia have filed a lawsuit against the Phi Delta Theta fraternity of Louisiana State University and four fraternity members in connection with the alleged hazing death of their son. The story is reported online at cbsnews.com.*

On September 14, 2017, 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver died of acute alcohol intoxication and inhalation of vomit and other fluids. His blood-alcohol level was 0.495, according to the coroner in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gruver had been taken to the hospital by several members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

On August 16, Gruver’s parents, Stephen and Rae Ann, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Baton Rouge alleging that members of the fraternity forced Gruver to drink excessive amounts of alcohol as part of hazing activities related to initiation into the fraternity. The suit says fraternity members then placed Gruver on a couch inside the fraternity house and left him alone in a state of unconsciousness. The next day, he was still nonresponsive, the suit says, and the fraternity members decided to take him to a hospital and lie about how they found him and the circumstances leading to his death. 

The four students named in the lawsuit — Matthew Alexander Naquin, Patrick Forde, Sean Paul Gott, and Ryan Isto — have already been criminally indicted on charges of felony negligent homicide and misdemeanor hazing charges. In response to Gruver’s death, the Louisiana Legislature passed stricter laws regarding hazing on college campuses. Phi Delta Theta suspended operations, and LSU later rescinded its registration and barred the fraternity from sponsoring events or recruiting new members until 2032. 

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