Legal news for Nebraska personal injury attorneys. Sigma Chi fraternity accused of hazing activities.
Nebraska personal injury lawyers alerts-A lawsuit accuses Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln of hazing pledges.
Lincoln, NE—The Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), fourteen Sigma Chi members, the fraternities building corporation, and its national organization are being sued by a former pledge, which alleges he was repeatedly hazed from fall 2008 to early 2009. The pledge claims the hazing has forced him to seek counseling and “continues to suffer pain.” The lawsuit is reportedly seeking unspecified damages, as reported by the Lincoln Journal Rose.
The former pledge, Drew Lechner, claims he was verbally assaulted, paddled, forced to drink alcohol, and perform humiliating acts with other pledges. Initiated Sigma Chi brothers and fraternity officers reportedly orchestrated all of the hazing activities. The lawsuit alleges Lecher and other pledges were forced to sit in a dark fraternity house for long durations, while the brother’s yelled insults and threats at them. The pledges were also forced to stand and stare at the ceiling for long periods of time, which caused the pledges to suffer stiffness of the neck and fatigue. In addition, the lawsuit claims Lecher was paddled on his behind, and then he had to paddle his “pledge father” in return. One hazing activity called “Busy as a Bee,” required the pledges to sit in rows, and sing, while making rowing motions with their arms. They also had to leap-frog each other throughout the Sigma Chi fraternity house while the other brothers threw ice and wet paper towels at them. The pledges also had to pay a “social fund” of $200 so they could buy alcohol. The lawsuit accuses the fraternity of forcing its pledges to take a shot of vodka and Tabasco sauce, which apparently made Lecher vomit. The lawsuit further alleged, in January, the Sigma Chi pledges were forced to all sleep in a room with the windows wide open. In the middle of the night the sleeping pledges were pelted with flour, water, ketchup, pickles, and other items, while the brothers yelled and screamed at them. Lecher claims that night we was hit with hot chocolate, and a beer can, which he suffered bruises from. Lecher further claims his shirt and his necklace were ripped off. The next morning the fraternity hopefuls were lined by according to grade point average and were required to endure cold showers, according to the lawsuit.
The UNL police investigated the allegations, and charged nine Sigma Chi brothers of hazing, and procuring alcohol for a minor. At this time, six brothers have been convicted, and three others are still going through the court system. Lecher stated he withdrew from the fraternity and no longer associates with its members. The plaintiff also says he’s been to counseling and continually suffers pain as a result of the hazing. The lawsuit accused the national organization of Sigma Chi fraternity of neglecting to supervise the UNL charter, even though it was “widely known” the UNL chapter violated the hazing ban. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages. UNL is reportedly deciding a punishment for the fraternity and is expected to release a decision this week.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Nebraska personal injury lawyers.