Parents Sue University for Son’s Alcohol-Poisoning Death


The parents of an 18-year-old alcohol-poisoning victim are suing Utah State University and the Sigma Nu fraternity adjacent campus for projecting a “false image” to students interested in joining the chapter.

Michael Starks was a freshman pledge who died of alcohol poisoning after fraternity members allegedly bound his hands with duct tape and gave him vodka at an initiation ritual the night of his overdose, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

According to the lawsuit, the university tolerated drug and alcohol abuse at a fraternity house. The Sigma Nu fraternity chapter had reports of misconduct, including an alcohol-related suicide by hanging, underage drinking, arson, thefts, vandalism, false fire alarms and assaults, the Tribune reports.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the university and from the state. The teen’s family settled out of court with the fraternity.

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