In April of last year, 19-year old Alasdair Russell killed himself on a Miami beach. At the time, he was a student at the University of Southern California (USC). Russell was a part-time model and a pledge of the school’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
Now, his mother is suing the school for negligence in the death of her son. According to the suit, Russell was encouraged by members of the fraternity to drink excessively to the point that he fell off of a platform and was knocked unconscious. The party had been held at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.
The day after the party, Russell began to exhibit symptoms of having suffered a concussion from the fall. His symptoms included vomiting, head pain, blurry vision and dizziness. He was allegedly urged by other fraternity member not to seek medical attention because it would draw unwanted attention to the party. This attention would have exposed PKP Local’s conduct, which included, but was not limited to, serving alcohol to minors and engaging in hazing activities.
The lawsuit alleges that, after the accident, other fraternity members gave him Adderall and cocaine so that he could keep up with the pledging activities in spite of his symptoms.
According to his mother, in the months after the accident, her son experienced a personality change, and dropped out of school before the end of the second semester. Shortly thereafter, he was committed to a psychiatric facility.
Russell, who was raised in the United Kingdom, appeared to be getting better as he planned to climb Mount Everest. He was hoping to become the youngest person to break the record for the fastest climb of Mount Everest.
Just two weeks before his scheduled climb, Russell took his own life while in Miami. His mother is suing Phi Kappa Psi and the school for negligence with regard to drinking, partying and pledge hazing.
Who do you think should be responsible for accidental deaths by hazing on college campuses?
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.