Tragedy struck before the Yale-Harvard rivalry football game in 2011 when a member of Yale’s Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter was driving a U-Haul truck and accidentally accelerated into a group of people, killing one and injuring two.
Now, after 2+ years of unsuccessfully targeting the fraternity’s national organization, lawyers for the victims are suing 86 Yale Sigma Phi Epsilon members individually. Via the LA Times:
“We originally sued the national fraternity because we believe that the boys were acting as agents of the fraternity when the accident happened — they had rented a truck and were bringing supplies to have a fraternity-sponsored party in the parking lot,” [lawyer Paul] Edwards told The Times. “But the national fraternity has tried to distance itself from the local chapter, saying the tailgate was not a fraternity-sanctioned event.”
The plaintiff’s lawyers said they had no choice but to sue individual fraternity members because when the national fraternity “distanced itself,” the Yale chapter became a “voluntary association” under Connecticut law.
The cases are not expected to go to trial until next year.
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