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Family of Stone Foltz files civil suit against Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity

The family is seeking a trial by jury.
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 2:02 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - The family of Stone Foltz, the Bowling Green State University sophomore who died during a hazing incident in March of this year, is suing the fraternity the 20-year-old was pledging at the time of his death along with several others. The suit, which was filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday, names the national chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, as well as the BGSU Delta Chapter, and 10 individuals as defendants. The family is seeking a trial by jury.

The suit also names John Does 1-10, representing individuals as yet unknown who may be culpable in the case.

“By filing a civil complaint on behalf of Stone Foltz and the Foltz family, we are doing what is necessary to hold the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, the local fraternity chapter, and individuals accountable for their behavior that led to Stone Foltz’s death,” said Rex Elliott and Sean Alto, who represent the family. “The complaint details a disturbing history of hazing within the international fraternity dating back almost 60 years, culminating in the tragic wrongful death of Stone Foltz. While nothing can bring Stone back to his family, we are confident the family will get justice and accountability through the legal system.”

Most of the individuals named in the suit are also those facing criminal charges in Foltz’s death. Those charges were brought against eight people who were allegedly involved in the party at which Foltz was reportedly forced to drink a fifth (750ml) of alcohol. Foltz was later dropped off at his apartment where he was found unresponsive. He later died at the hospital.

In the civil complaint, Foltz’s family accuses the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity of having a long history of hazing incidents, leading to multiple deaths since the 1960s. It includes multiple incidents from the BGSU chapter, including complaints filed in 2018 and 2019. The university has previously stated that the recent hazing incident shed new light on the complaints from 2018.

The suit seeks a ruling on multiple counts, including violation of Ohio’s anti-hazing statute, negligence, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy. Lawyers for the family are seeking compensatory damages of at least $275,000 ($25,000 for each of the 11 counts). Additional punitive damages would be determined by the court.

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