When Connecticut parents send their children to college, they often worry about the dangers of partying. Unfortunately, college fraternities have become notorious for underage drinking, which sometimes leads to fatal car accidents.
As members of a Yale University fraternity were transporting kegs of beer in a U-Haul truck during a football game, a fraternity member struck and killed a 30-year-old woman and severely injured a female student. It is not clear whether the driver had been drinking; it is possible that he was merely an inexperienced truck driver, and the U-Haul he was driving was too large for him to handle. Both the surviving victim and the deceased victim’s family members attempted to sue the national fraternity organization, but it alleged that it had nothing to do with the incident.
Therefore, the plaintiffs’ only option was to sue not only the driver responsible but also the 86 members of the local chapter of the fraternity. If the jury sides with the plaintiffs, the fraternity members, and perhaps their parents, will have to pay their share of a $2.5 million settlement. It is estimated that the damage to the victim who survived the accident cost her about $300,000. Some of this burden may fall on the fraternity members’ parents, who may be forced to use a home equity loan to cover these costs.
Nevertheless, it is important for victims of serious car accidents to hold negligent or distracted drivers responsible for the damage that they caused. Anyone who is in this unfortunate situation may want to work with a personal injury attorney.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Yale Fraternity and 86 Members Sued Over Fatal Tailgating Crash in Connecticut,” Andrew Harris and Chris Dolmetsch, Jan. 15, 2014