Archive for Monday, January 3, 2011

Former pledge’s lawsuit against KU fraternity Phi Gamma Delta claims officials should have known members were breaking rules

Kansas University placed Phi Gamma Delta on probation for two years after concluding a hazing investigation in October 2010. The investigation followed an incident during which KU freshman Matt Fritzie was injured while diving into a makeshift pool at the fraternity house on Sept. 17, 2010.

Kansas University placed Phi Gamma Delta on probation for two years after concluding a hazing investigation in October 2010. The investigation followed an incident during which KU freshman Matt Fritzie was injured while diving into a makeshift pool at the fraternity house on Sept. 17, 2010.

January 3, 2011

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A former pledge’s lawsuit against a Kansas University fraternity claims that fraternity officials should have known members were breaking the rules before he was injured at a September party at the Phi Gamma Delta house.

In the lawsuit filed last week in Jackson County Circuit Court in Missouri, an attorney for Matt Fritzie, a freshman pledge from Stilwell, alleged at least one member of the fraternity’s national headquarters and members of the chapter house association visited the house during a three-week period when pledges were forced to construct a makeshift pool.

The suit alleges the pool was prohibited on the property by fraternity rules.

Related document

Matt Fritzie Lawsuit ( .PDF )

Fritzie was injured Sept. 17 after jumping into a homemade pool constructed of sandbags and tarp at the fraternity house, 1540 La. The suit also alleges Fritzie was ordered to dive into the pool during the “Fiji Island” party and became permanently paralyzed due to his injuries.

“Each of these people should have recognized that a pool was being constructed, and that doing so was dangerous and a violation of fraternity rules. Each person, however, negligently failed to notice the pool,” Fritzie’s attorneys wrote in the suit.

Defendants named in the lawsuit are the Phi Gamma Delta Chapter House Association, trustee and housing corporation member David R. Smith of Kansas City, Mo., and the fraternity’s national organization.

Bill Martin, executive director for the Phi Gamma Delta International Fraternity in Lexington, Ky., said Monday the organization could not yet respond to the allegations.

“It’s a matter that will be processed through the courts and through the normal process of litigation,” Martin said.

KU has placed the fraternity on a two-year probationary period after finding the chapter violated KU’s Code of Student Rights of Responsibilities for hazing, though KU officials say they were not able to substantiate that the hazing at the party resulted in physical injuries.

Fritzie was transferred from KU Hospital to Craig Hospital in Denver for further treatment and rehabilitation.

Comments

cheeseburger 4 years, 3 months ago

Matt, I am terribly sorry you were injured and suffered debilitating injuries, but the 'should have known' aspect extends to you as well. You 'should have known' that swan-diving into tarps and sandbags carries with it an inherent risk of injury or death. I'm sorry there was peer pressure exerted on you to do something stupid, but really, you 'should have known.'

Darrell Lea 4 years, 3 months ago

Let me count the ways...

1) Surmising important details about events without a factual accounting, i.e "swan-diving into tarps and sandbags..."

2) Publicly judging the behavior of people you have never met from published accounts at news sites, i.e. "but really, you 'should have known.'"

3) Having the audacity to chastise anyone who has suffered such a grievous injury. What if it had happened to you? Would you want some person who hides behind a silly alias to publicly judge you in the local news source?

My mom was one of "the greatest generation." She always said, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything." I realize that living by those words would certainly change the tenor of conversation around here, but they are still good words.

Have a nice day.

KUnlv13 4 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. These are 18 year old men, there is an expected degree of personal accountability, IMO.

Kontum1972 4 years, 3 months ago

stupid is as stupid does....

this is not the first time this frat has had problems...the Interfraterity counsel should be addressing this situation as to closing this fraternity down.

jhawks1234 4 years, 3 months ago

Wait....So you are not supposed to dive into a pool that is 3 ft. deep?

whatadrag 4 years, 3 months ago

It would be terrible to live in a world where one is accountable for their own actions.

jehovah_bob 4 years, 3 months ago

I think this was a Quantum Leap episode. Where is Dr. Sam Beckett when you need him?

somedude20 4 years, 3 months ago

So would the frats defense be "we only told him to break a leg before jumping not his neck, bra" No amount of money (loot for you young people) would ever be worth being paralyzed from the neck down. It really does stink to have one bad choice cause a life (if you can call that life) of pain

Don't haze me bro

Mike Wagner 4 years, 3 months ago

So calling someone a troll would fit into your moms idea of saying something nice?

Not feeling too sorry for the kid, or the frat if they lose their shorts in court.

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