Family of fraternity hazing victim reaches settlement with BGSU, Pi Kappa Alpha

The family of Stone Foltz reached a nearly $3 million settlement with BGSU and a $1 million settlement with PIKE fraternity.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:59 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:43 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - The family of a Bowling Green State University student who died after an off-campus fraternity hazing event has reached a settlement with the university, according to the family’s legal team.

The family of Stone Foltz reached a nearly $3 million settlement with BGSU, according to court documents. The Foltz family’s legal team called it the largest payout by a public university in a hazing case in the state’s history.

It’s part of a larger series of settlements that currently total more than $10 million and include the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and individual fraternity members, sources tell 13abc. Some of the former BGSU PIKE fraternity members who were convicted on charges connected to the hazing case were among those who reached settlements.

“The Foltz family and Bowling Green State University are forever impacted by the tragic death of Stone Foltz,” a joint statement from the Foltz family and BGSU read. “This resolution keeps the Foltz family and BGSU community from reliving the tragedy for years to come in the courtroom and allows us to focus on furthering our shared mission of eradicating hazing in Ohio and across the nation. Leading these efforts in our communities is the real work that honors Stone.”

Shari and Cory Foltz said much of the settlement money will go toward the iamstonefoltz FOUNDATION, the non-profit organization they created dedicated to ending hazing. The foundation aims to educate schools. students, and parents about the dangers of Greek life hazing.

“Universities have been really good, historically, in punishing after the event has occurred but they haven’t been very good putting a stop to this stuff before it takes place,” Rex Elliot, the Foltz family attorney said.

The Foltzes said they made a promise to Stone when doctors were treating him for alcohol poisoning they they’d fight to end hazing. He died just days later.

“We wouldn’t allow this to happen to anyone else. I think he’d be proud because he knows exactly what we’re doing,” Stone’s mother Shari Foltz said.

The Foltz family and their legal team held a press conference in Columbus Monday discussing the terms of the settlement. You can watch it in full in the video below.

Stone Foltz died of alcohol poisoning after a Pi Kappa Alpha hazing event in which prosecutors said pledges were told to drink an entire bottle of liquor. Foltz’s family sued BGSU for alleged negligence, claiming the university violated Ohio’s Anti-hazing statute.

The family has largely stayed clear of the public eye since Foltz’s death in 2021 and the following trial for those who were charged in connection to the hazing case but are making an exception to “reinforce their message that university leadership must take responsibility to eradicate hazing for good,” a statement from the communications team for the family’s attorneys read.

Several people connected to the hazing incident were convicted of charges ranging from reckless homicide to misdemeanor hazing after taking plea deals. Two men took the case to trial and were acquitted of all felony charges and convicted of misdemeanor hazing and underage alcohol laws.

BGSU expelled the fraternity in 2021. Since Foltz’s death, state lawmakers passed Colin’s law that now makes hazing a felony offense in Ohio.

You can read the settlement below.

Family of BGSU hazing victim reaches settlement with university

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