The family of a fraternity pledge who died after drinking heavily at a party is attempting to add defendants to a wrongful death lawsuit against the fraternity and some members. The family of David Bogenberger plans to add 16 women to the lawsuit and may add other students as well. A separate lawsuit is possible against Northern Illinois University.
A Cook County judge initially denied the motion to add defendants to the lawsuit because of a technicality, according to the family’s attorney. The family obtained the women’s names from police reports as people who were present the night of Bogenberger’s death. The police reports were from the DeKalb Police Department and the NIU Police Department.
According to the family, the additional defendants share responsibility for Bogenberger’s death because they were present and allowed the hazing and underage drinking to continue. The women are not affiliated with a particular sorority.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are more than 1,800 deaths per year of college students between the ages of 18 and 24 due to unintentional injuries that are alcohol-related.
The lawsuit demands more than $100,000 in damages. Defendants include the Pi Kappa Alpha national fraternity and its Eta Nu chapter at Northern Illinois University, event organizers, chapter officers and attendees of the party.