Frats Won't Pay Up When Members Get Killed, Injured

Bloomberg: National groups insulate themselves from lawsuits

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 30, 2013 10:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – College fraternities are famous for their hard-partying ways, but when the party gets rough, the frats get going. Fifty-seven people have been killed or paralyzed in accidents linked to fraternities since 2005, but many national bodies are refusing to take any responsibility, financial or otherwise, for what happens during hazing and keggers at local college chapters, reports Bloomberg. In fact, frats like Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which has been associated with eight deaths in as many years—including one in which a student was tied up, blindfolded and forced to chug to his demise—are actively working to shield their wealth and assets from lawsuits over such incidents.

And that wealth is considerable. Despite the grisly fate of some of their pledges, membership is up 29% since 2005. Collectively, frats own more than $3 billion in real estate and generate $170 million in annual revenue. But when a student was paralyzed from the neck down at a keg party thrown by one of the largest fraternities in the country, it refused to contribute a cent to his medical costs. “They want to wash their hands of the problem and say it’s their brothers’ fault, it’s their chapters’ fault," says one risk management adviser. "These are million-dollar organizations that sponsor activities that are harmful.” Click for the full Bloomberg report.

  (Shutterstock)
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