Judge Dismisses Wrongful Death Suit Against High Point U
The school and its security director have both been dismissed as defendents from the wrongful death suit brought by the family of a student who died from fraternity hazing.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A judge has dismissed High Point University (HPU) and its security director, Jeffrey Karpovich, from a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a student who died from fraternity hazing.
In March 2012, Robert Eugene Tipton Jr., 22, died after the HPU chapter of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity allegedly hazed him. Tipton was discovered in his off-campus apartment and later died at High Point Regional Hospital, News & Record reports.
Tipton’s family then filed a lawsuit against the university, Delta Sigma Phi, fraternity members Marshall Jefferson and Michael Qubein, and HPU’s director of security Jeffrey Karpovich.
The lawsuit claimed school officials knew that the fraternity was engaging in “extreme and outrageous conduct.” It also claimed that Quebin, the son of High Point’s president, led the hazing and other activities, including drug and alcohol abuse. Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that another fraternity member inflicted the physical blows on Tipton, which the family believes caused his death. The court papers also claimed Karpovich instructed his department’s officers to go easy on Qubein.
The HPU chapter of Delta Sigma Phi closed shortly after the family filed the lawsuit.
On June 4, Superior Court Judge Susan Bray dismissed both civil cases against Karpovich and High Point University, My Fox 8 reports.
The university released a statement following the ruling:
“We are gratified by the Court’s decision to dismiss the case against High Point University and our Director of Security, Jeff Karpovich. We take the safety of our students very seriously and are committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment. Robert Tipton’s death at an off-campus residence was tragic, and we are sorry for his loss, but we strongly rejected the basis of the lawsuit.”
The Tipton family plans to appeal the decision.