The parents of a 19-year-old college student are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against his fraternity and the university after a ritual led to a fatal brain injury.
Harrison Kowiak, a 19-year-old college student, was brutally beaten during fraternity hazing and died after a traumatic brain injury was caused by a brain hemorrhage. His parents are now filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Theta Chi Fraternity, its members and Lenoir-Rhyne University.School hazing has been on the hot seat numerous times before as it is a ritualistic test and a task involving harassment, abuse and humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group. Often times this humiliation results in personal injury and even wrongful death of young students who are simply trying to impress people. But we — as personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers — believe that wanting to be a part of something does not mean you have to subject yourself to humiliation and beatings that many college fraternity hazings entail.
In the wrongful death lawsuit, Kowiak’s parents allege that their son and another pledge were told to walk across a field at night in November of 2008 while wearing light clothing. It was then, they said, that members of the fraternity – wearing dark clothing — repeatedly tackled the pledges, causing his fatal brain injury.
Kowiak was a 160-pound sophomore and a member of the golf team, while some members of the fraternity were Lenoir-Rhyne football players who weighed more than 250 pounds.
Fraternity members eventually realized that Kowiak was badly injured, according to the wrongful death lawsuit, and they attempted to get Kowiak to stand up. It was then that the 19-year-old collapsed. The fraternity brothers then drove him to a hospital for medical treatment and told medical staff that Kowiak had been injured in an on-campus flag-football accident.
Many fraternities across the nation use hazing as a way for new recruit to prove their loyalty. But to what extent does a person have to go to prove their loyalty?
In Mr. Kowiaks’s case, it was death.
Call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or click here for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced wrongful death lawyer or personal injury attorney to find out how we may help you. We look forward to providing good advice to help you make smart decisions about your case in either English or Spanish.