The family of a Virginia Commonwealth University Fraternity member who died of alcohol poisoning in the 2021 Hajiki has sued the Fraternity for $28 million.
A police investigation found that 19-year-old Adam Oakes, who was under bid to join the Deltakai Fraternity, was told to drink a large bottle of whiskey in February 2021.
The Loudoun County freshman was found dead the next morning. The chief medical examiner ruled Oakes’ cause of death to be alcohol poisoning.
Courtney White, Ms. Oakes’ cousin, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against the Deltakai Fraternity, the Deltakai Education Foundation, and the Deltakai chapter of the University of Virginia, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported.
Six fraternal members were found guilty, or pleaded guilty, to misdemeanor misdemeanor debauchery or serving alcohol to minors. No one was imprisoned. Charges against five other members were dropped.
VCU expelled Deltakai in June 2021 and settled with the Oakes family for about $1 million in September.
“Too many times families like ours have lost sons and daughters to these senseless and dangerous haze rituals,” the Oakes family said in a statement. “Our hope is that we, and all other families affected by Hajimete, look forward to the day when such senseless deaths no longer occur.”
Asked by The New York Times in 2021 about Delta Chi’s policy on hagging, a spokesperson pointed to the organization’s risk management policy and prohibited members from conducting, participating in, or authorizing hagging activities. made it clear that there is
“The permission or approval of a loser is not a defense,” the policy reported.
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