Parents of hazing victim reach settlement
Beta Theta Pi agrees to make chapters safer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The parents of a Penn State University student who died after a night of hazing and drinking have settled with the national organization of the fraternity he was pledging, their lawyer said.
The amount for which Jim and Evelyn Piazza, the parents of the late 19-year-old Tim Piazza, settled with Beta Theta Pi is undisclosed, family attorney Thomas Kline said.
Beta Theta Pi has also agreed to a 17-point program that makes chapters safer and penalizes groups for hazing, he said, reforms that will “help establish a baseline for the new norm” of fraternity life.
Beta Theta Pi is focused on adopting “accountability measures,” national leaders of the fraternity said.
Piazza, a 19-year-old engineering student from Lebanon, New Jersey, participated in a series of drinking stations the night of Feb. 2, 2017, as well as a basement event involving rapid consumption of alcohol.
The house’s elaborate video security system recorded him stumbling to a couch on the first floor before falling down the steps. He was carried back upstairs and spent the night in evident pain, most of it on the couch, as fraternity brothers took ineffective and even harmful steps to address his condition.
After he was found unconscious in the basement the next morning, it took his friends about 40 minutes to summon an ambulance, and he later died at a hospital.
Medical experts say he suffered a fractured skull and shattered spleen, and his blood-alcohol level has been estimated to have peaked at three or four times the legal limit for driving.
A judge dismissed the most serious charges filed in Piazza’s death.