$3M settlement in deadly fall at frat party - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

$3M settlement in deadly fall at frat party

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Matthew Crozier Matthew Crozier

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The parents of an intoxicated college student who died after a New Year's Eve party at the University of Pennsylvania have settled a wrongful death lawsuit for more than $3 million.
    
Matthew Crozier, 20, of Yardley, fell over a railing on a stairway at Phi Kappa Sigma house on Jan. 1, 2011. He fell about 30 feet and landed on his head, suffering a traumatic brain injury, the suit said. He died four days later.
    
Crozier, although underage, had been served alcohol at the party and had also been able to buy beer earlier at a Bucks County beer store, the suit said.
    
Campus police allowed the party to continue even after they responded to a fire alarm, the suit alleged. The fall occurred at about 3 a.m.
    
The settlement includes $3 million from the fraternity and $375,000 from Suds Beer Store of Trevose, along with an undisclosed settlement with Penn. The university cannot comment because of the confidentiality agreement, spokeswoman Phyllis Holtzman said Monday.
    
"Combined, their negligence clearly led to the death of an extraordinary young man with the brightest of futures," family lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi said.
    
Crozier, the son of David and Helene Crozier, had been a student and basketball player at John Carroll University in Ohio. He had attended La Salle College High School.
    
Mongeluzzi said the university had repeatedly warned the fraternity the railing was inadequate, although the fraternity said that remains in dispute.
    
"It's an unfortunate situation that hopefully will never occur in the future," said lawyer Dirk Pastorick, who represents Phi Kappa Sigma.
    
The suit, filed in Philadelphia, also alleged that Crozier and a friend had each bought two six-packs at Suds on their way to the party. The store settled without conceding that Crozier bought beer without a valid ID.
    
"It was a very difficult case, a very sad case," store lawyer Joseph D. Deal said. "A parents' worst nightmare. Anybody's worst nightmare"

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