Lawsuit alleges NIU frat didn’t seek help for unconscious students after hazing
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter August 16, 2013 12:08AM
Fraternity officers pressured students to drink at least 21 glasses of vodka — then used Breathalyzers to determine how drunk they were — during a hazing ritual that left a Northern Illinois University freshman dead, according to a new court filing.
Leaders of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity later checked on unconscious pledges but opted not to call for medical help, the new filing in a wrongful-death lawsuit alleged.
One fraternity officer also ordered other members to delete any pictures or videos they shot showing unconscious students after the 2012 “Mom and Dad’s Night” pledge event, according to the filing.
David Bogenberger, 19, was found dead in the DeKalb frat house on Nov. 2, 2012, after attending the initiation. His blood-alcohol level was more than four times the .08 limit at which a driver is legally considered drunk.
Relatives of the Palatine teen filed the wrongful -death suit earlier this year against 38 fraternity and sorority members who allegedly were present during the event. The local and national branches of the fraternity also have been named in the suit.
DeKalb County prosecutors earlier filed criminal hazing charges against 22 fraternity members who allegedly took part in the initiation. Five of those students face felony charges that potentially could send them to prison.
The new details disclosed this week in the civil lawsuit came from statements fraternity members allegedly made to police and NIU officials after Bogenberger’s death, family attorney Peter Coladarci said Thursday.
Bogenberger’s parents and four surviving siblings are still struggling to come to terms with his death, which came less than three months after he left home to attend NIU.
“My clients are hurting pretty bad,” Coladarci said. “It’s real tough for them.”
A lawyer representing the fraternity — which has been shut down by NIU officials — declined to comment on the new allegations.