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Hazing Gone Wrong: Family Seeks Compensation After Son’s Unfortunate Death at a Fraternity Event

The family of David Bogenberger, seeks more than $100,000 in damages after their son’s unfortunate death at a fraternity event at Northern Illinois University’s Pi Kappa Alpha House. According to the lawsuit, fraternity and sorority members engaged in hazing rituals which ultimately claimed Bogenberger’s life. Even worse, the family claims that the students failed to offer Bogenberger help when he became unconscious after a two-hour pledge event and did not notice that something had gone wrong until the next morning. According to the Chicago Tribune:

Bogenberger, who grew up in Palatine and was an NIU freshman, had been drinking excessively at a “Mom’s and Dad’s Night” pledge party when he died in November. The pledges had been told that participating in the party was a condition of being accepted to the fraternity, according to the lawsuit.

During the event, the pledges went to various rooms in the fraternity house where they were asked questions and told to drink by fraternity and sorority members – the party’s “moms” and “dads.” 

The lawsuit also alleges that the fraternity’s national organization failed to ensure that its chapters were warned about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, and did not do enough to ensure the NIU chapter was following anti-hazing policies.

The wrongful death suit, amended Friday to include the female NIU students, also names the fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, and 22 fraternity members who also face criminal charges related to the death of 19-year-old David Bogenberger. Five student officers of the fraternity have been charged with felony hazing violations, and 17 others face misdemeanor counts stemming from Bogenberger’s death.  

Last modified on May 9, 2013. Published by Friedman, Domiano & Smith Co., L.P.A.

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