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University Settles Hazing Case With Family of Dead Student | Inside Higher Ed

Bowling Green State University reached a $2.9 million settlement with the family of a 20-year-old student who died in 2021 after a fraternity hazing incident, The Columbus Dispatch reported Monday.

Stone Foltz was a sophomore at Bowling Green State pledging the Pi Alpha Kappa fraternity when he attended an off-campus initiation event in March 2021 where he drank a liter of bourbon, according to the Dispatch. Three days later he died of alcohol poisoning.

Foltz’s parents, Cory and Shari Foltz, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bowling Green State in June 2022, alleging that the university knew Greek organizations on campus were engaging in hazing rituals but did nothing to stop them.

Several members of Pi Alpha Kappa were criminally charged in Foltz’s death and served between one and six weeks in jail, Cleveland.com reported, though they were found not guilty of the most serious charges, involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.

The settlement payout is the largest by a public university in a hazing case in Ohio’s history, the family’s lawyer said. The money will be used to support the antihazing iamstonefoltz Foundation.

As part of the settlement, the university has also agreed to partner with the Foltzes to end hazing.

“From day one, we’ve always wanted the same thing as Bowling Green—to eradicate hazing across the country,” Cory Foltz said at a press conference Monday. “So I strongly believe that today, moving forward, we can work with Bowling Green, and Bowling Green will be one of the first universities to take the big step towards eliminating hazing across the country.”

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