Foltz family lawsuit alleges BGSU knew about PIKE hazing events
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The family of a Bowling Green State University student who died from alcohol poisoning after a fraternity hazing event last year is suing the university. The lawsuit from the parents of Stone Foltz allege BGSU is responsible for their son’s death.
Foltz died last year of alcohol poisoning after a fraternity hazing incident. One of the major points of the lawsuit is that the school was told about this very event in 2019 and did nothing to stop it from happening again in 2021.
The family of Foltz promised him while in the hospital that they would work tirelessly to end hazing. One step, they say, is holding BGSU responsible in part for his death.
“There needs to be accountability across the board. accountability for the folks that were in the room that night. accountability at the fraternal/national level. and ultimately the people at the top at the university who allow these organizations to exist on campus,” said Foltz family attorney Sean Alto.
Foltz died in March of last year after a big-little Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity event where he was given a bottle of alcohol. Investigators say he consumed in about 23 minutes.
At the criminal trial for 2 of the men facing charges, every witness testified that Foltz was never forced to drink the bottle. He was simply given it. Foltz died of alcohol poisoning and the coroner says Foltz had a blood-alcohol level of .394.
“The universities have to do more. they have to crack down on this very serious problem that they know about and only through their actions and their accountability will it put an end to the Friday and Saturday night problems,” said Alto.
The suit cites a 2019 report about this very event at this very fraternity saying the school knew about PIKE and what it did for years. The family says the school’s investigation into that was wholly inadequate and that if BGSU had adequately enforced its policy Stone would be alive today.
“They simply just haven’t done enough to address this very, very serious and deadly problem,” said Alto.
Alto says the family filed the suit to shine a light on the issue and show all schools that hazing needs to be addressed seriously so no more families have to suffer.
“Enough is enough. the leaders need to step up and so what’s right and put an end to this.” said Alto.
The full statement from BGSU on the lawsuit reads as follows:
“Stone Foltz’s death was a tragedy, and what his family has endured is unimaginable. However, this lawsuit is meritless and undermines our continued efforts to eradicate hazing. We are resolved in our legal position, and as a state-supported university, we will defend our community vigorously against this action. This will not deter our goal to continue to foster a community of care that serves our students and their families.”
You can read the lawsuit in its entirety below.
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