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Suit: Frat Pledge Whacked Head, Was Given Cocaine

Lawsuit accuses Phi Kappa Psi of negligence, hazing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2018 10:00 AM CDT
Alasdair Russell.   (JustGiving.com)

(Newser) – The mother of a former University of Southern California student who killed himself last year is putting blame on the fraternity that allegedly hazed him. Kathleen Russell claims Phi Kappa Psi members forced 19-year-old pledge Alasdair Russell to "drink in excess to the point of passing out" at an October 2016 fraternity party, per People. The British model from Kent, who appeared in a Gap ad alongside Naomi Campbell, complained of concussion-like symptoms after he fell off a platform and hit his head, losing consciousness, according to a lawsuit. By April 1, 2017, when Alasdair was found dead on a beach in Boca Raton, Fla., where his mother lived, he'd undergone a personality change, dropped out of school, and been "involuntarily committed," the lawsuit reads.

Its claim of negligence by Phi Kappa Psi further extends to the events of the day after the party, when Russell says Alasdair complained of pain, blurry vision, and vomiting. Per TMZ, the lawsuit alleges frat members not only discouraged him from seeking medical attention for fear it would expose rule-breaking, "including but not limited to supplying alcohol to minors and engaging in hazing activities," but also gave the teen cocaine and Adderall to keep him partying. The USC website notes Phi Kappa Psi lost its status as a fraternity in March following "hazing and health and safety violations." ABC7 reports four other USC frats have been suspended for hazing allegations in the past two months. (Relatives believe a pledge was hazed before his September death in California.)

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