Bowling Green State University has been ordered to pay $2.9 million to the family of a former student killed in a fraternity hazing incident two years ago, the two sides announced Monday.
As part of the settlement, the Ohio college and Stone Foltz’s family promised each to work to eliminate hazing practices on college campuses. Stone’s parents said they will donate their winnings to an anti-wealth foundation they set up following the tragic death of their 20-year-old son.
“Since day one, we’ve always wanted the same thing as Bowling Green: to eradicate hazing across the country,” Stone’s father, Cory Foltz, said at a Monday press conference.
“I firmly believe that today, in the future, we can work with Bowling Green, and Bowling Green will be one of the first universities to take the big step towards ending hazing across this country.”
“We can continue our fight to save lives,” said Stone’s mother, Shari.
The settlement ends a nearly two-year lawsuit that was filed after Stone died in March 2021.
The college sophomore had been ordered to polish an entire liter of whiskey at an off-campus initiation party hosted by the school’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, the Stone Society had rushed.
Stone was dropped off at his apartment by fraternity members later that night and was discovered unconscious by his housemates, who called 911. He was rushed to hospital, where he was listed in “catastrophic” condition, and died three days later. the coroner ruled as “fatal ethanol poisoning in a hazing incident”.
Eight former fraternity members have pleaded guilty or been found guilty of various charges, including reckless homicide, hazing and giving alcohol to a minor. Two of them were later acquitted of more serious charges of manslaughter and reckless homicide.
In their lawsuit, the Foltzes accused Bowling Green of failing to stop hazing in fraternities and sororities when he was aware of it.
In the aftermath of Stone’s death, however, the Ohio school took many steps to reconcile the tragedy, including expelling the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity as a recognized society on campus and hiring a coordinator of the hazing prevention.
“This resolution prevents the Foltz family and the BGSU community from reliving the tragedy for years in the courtroom and allows us to focus on continuing our shared mission to eradicate hazing in Ohio and across the nation. country. Leading these efforts in our communities is the real work that honors Stone,” the college said in a statement.
Although happy that the parties reached an agreement, Shari said the money, or whatever, would bring closure to her family.
“Obviously the money doesn’t mean anything to us because it’s not going to bring Stone back,” she said. “But what it allows us to do is go ahead and help us through the foundation… to continue education, to teach students, the community, parents about hazing.”
The Foltzes will use the settlement money to fund the iamstonefoltz Foundation, which works to educate against the dangers of fraternity and sorority initiation practices.
With pole wires