Family sues in pledge's hazing death
DEKALB – The family of the 19-year-old fraternity pledge who died after a night of heavy drinking in November filed a lawsuit Thursday against the fraternity and several of its members.
David Bogenberger was found dead at Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, 1020 W. Hillcrest Drive, on Nov. 2 after an unsanctioned “parents night” party hosted for him and 18 other fraternity pledges, authorities said. The event was not registered with the national fraternity organization or with NIU officials.
Toxicology tests later showed Bogenberger had a blood-alcohol content of 0.351 percent when he died. Five fraternity members have been charged with felony hazing, while another 17 fraternity members were charged with misdemeanor hazing in DeKalb County.
On Nov. 1, Bogenberger, a freshman at Northern Illinois University, and the other pledges drank vodka and other liquor from plastic cups for about two hours while playing a game in which they were asked a series of questions after being assigned “Moms” and “Dads,” authorities have said.
Bogenberger, a 2012 Palatine High School graduate, was found dead at the fraternity house the next morning. Several other pledges told authorities that they got sick or passed out because of heavy drinking, police said.
According to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County, fraternity members put Bogenberger on a couch or bed in the house after he became unconscious, rather than seeking medical attention. The couch or bed was in a place where he could not be seen or observed, the lawsuit states.
The wrongful-death lawsuit is seeking more than $100,000 in damages from the national fraternity, the fraternity’s Eta Nu chapter at NIU, the chapter officers, the event organizers and people who participated in the party.
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