BGSU responds to Foltz family wrongful death lawsuit, denies wrongdoing

(Jack Bassett)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 1:31 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Bowling Green State University is denying allegations in a lawsuit from the family of a fraternity hazing victim.

The family of Stone Foltz, who died from alcohol poisoning after an off-campus fraternity hazing event, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university earlier this year.

“BGSU is responsible for Stone Foltz’s death,” the lawsuit reads. “For years, BGSU turned a blind eye to hazing within the Greek organizations on its campus while encouraging students like Stone to join its fraternities and sororities. For years, BGSU knew about PIKE’s troubled history of hazing, both locally and nationally but did nothing about it. Indeed, as recently as 2019.”

It argues BGSU was aware of the PIKE Big/Little hazing ritual, in which pledges were told to drink an entire bottle of liquor, and took no action against the fraternity.

A court filing from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on behalf of BGSU on Monday shows the university denies the accusations of wrongdoing.

“The University actively enforces and has enforced a Policy Against Hazing. The University’s Code of Student Conduct prohibits hazing and outlines the procedures for the reporting, investigation, and consequences of hazing,” the BGSU response reads.

It goes on to say BGSU cannot be liable for negligence because the actions of PIKE and its members are a superseding case.

“PIKE knowingly violated the University’s policies, engaged in illegal activities, and endangered the University’s students. PIKE members have been convicted of crimes related to the events of March 4, 2021,” the response reads.

BGSU argues it also cannot be held liable for negligence based on Foltz’s “voluntary assumption of known, inherent risks” as well as his “failure to use due care for his own safety.”

The response also acknowledges previous punishments the university handed down to PIKE and denies accusations those actions were insufficient or inadequate.

You can read the response in full below.

You can read the lawsuit against the university below.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.

Copyright 2022 WTVG. All rights reserved.