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Illinois Supreme Court Rules Parents of Hazing Victim Can Proceed With Lawsuit

David Bogenberger died in 2012 after a night of heavy drinking at Northern Illinois University.

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Illinois’ highest court has ruled that the parents of a college student who died at a Pi Kappa Alpha pledge party can continue with a lawsuit they are pursuing.

The court ruled that the parents of David Bogenberger, who died in 2012 at the age of 19, cannot hold the national chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha legally responsible, but they can go ahead with legal against against the Northern Illinois University chapter, its members and men and women who were members of Greek Life that participated in the hazing event.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Bogenberger died in his sleep and his blood alcohol level was 0.43 at the time of death, nearly five times the legal limit.

The Tribune reported:

“On Nov. 1, 2012, the fraternity held a “Mom and Dad’s Night,” at which pledges were given a cup and directed to go from room to room, where members of the fraternity and sorority women would pose as “Greek Mother and Father.” Pledges were directed to ask the pair a series of questions — after which they were required to drink a set amount of vodka poured by the fraternity and sorority members regardless of what answer was given.”

Bogenberger’s parents indicated they were pleased with the court’s ruling, but disappointed the national chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha will not face any further legal action.

At a news conference following the announcement of the decision, Bogenberger family lawyer Peter Coladarci said, “the court has given the victims and their families here in Illinois and Pennsylvania and Florida and all over the nation a powerful hammer against those who haze their children.”

It is expected to be up to year before the case goes to trial.

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