The family of a student at Drexel University have filed a lawsuit against a number of members of a fraternity at the school over events that occurred in 2015. Ian McGibbon of Narbeth, Pennsylvania was severely injured in a fight. One night in September of 2015, Ian's life was changed forever. Ian suffered a devastating brain injury in an altercation that resulted in his head hitting cement ground, which knocked him unconscious. McGibbon's frat brothers carried him to their frat house, which was two blocks away. One of the frat brothers was designated as a risk manager, and decided not to contact 911 for nearly 10 hours time. This delay in attention and care to McGibbon's injuries caused a severe brain injury.
The Lawsuit Against Frat Brothers
In response to these events, the McGibbon family has filed a lawsuit against two fraternities, and 5 specific students. After the fight ensued and Ian was left unconscious, his family found him still "unconscious" and "covered in blood and vomit." The family attorney stated that Ian's brain injury was the result of swelling and he was simply carelessly left there for his injuries to grow worse. Named as defendants are the Pi Kappa Phi and Delta Sigma Phi fraternities, as well as individual members of each fraternity.
Drexel University has not been named as a defendant at this time, however, the family and their attorney seek to send a message to the greater community regarding fraternity and sorority culture. The lawsuit alleges that had someone reported their son's injuries to emergency services immediately, their son could have avoided the permanent brain damage that ensued, and would have been able to graduate as well. Instead Ian requires assistance in his day to day living.
Drexel put forward a statement regarding these events. The University's statement discussed the university's concern for their students, and announced their policy on incidents that involve student safety. The University provides amnesty for students who are involved in these types of incidents, but contact emergency services for the safety of their friends. This means that students would not suffer disciplinary consequences form the University for their actions, so long as they contact the proper services and authorities for their injured, intoxicated, or otherwise endangered friends. At this time, no specific damages have been published.
Liability on a College Campus
When a student is injured or suffers harm on a college campus, at times, there may be several parties liable for what happened. These types of cases can be particularly common, especially in cases where underage drinking or severe binge drinking is involved. Sometimes, lengthy investigations and multiple defendants will be involved in these cases. An incident on a college campus can be complex and difficult for families and students involved, and many times much is either at risk, or has already been lost.