A fraternity is being sued for $28 million by the family of a college student who died in a hazing incident in 2021.
Adam Oakes, a 19-year-old freshman pledge, was discovered dead in February 2021 after attending an initiation party at the Virginia Commonwealth University Delta Chi fraternity chapter.
Alcohol poisoning was the cause of death, and according to Oakes’ family, he was compelled to down a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey.
In the end, 11 fraternity members were detained, and six ultimately entered guilty pleas to various counts. Five of the cases were dismissed.
The pledges were instructed to vomit up outside the fraternity, but Oakes refused, and the following day he was discovered dead on the floor.
His blood alcohol percentage was.419%, according to the report.
Courtney White, a cousin of Oakes, officially filed the lawsuit on behalf of the defendants, including the Delta Chi Educational Foundation, Delta Chi Fraternity Inc., and the VCU chapter of Delta Chi.
The lawsuit, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, claims that by holding Delta Chi, the VCU chapter of Delta Chi, and each of the individual fraternity brothers accountable, it will send a message that will be heard across all of America’s national Greek organizations and college campuses that change is on the way.
The family of Oakes previously settled with Virginia Commonwealth in September 2022 for $995,000.
The family said, “Too many families like ours have lost their sons and daughters to these stupid and hazardous hazing rituals.”
We wish to see a day when needless deaths from hazing don’t happen, along with all the other families devastated by it.