Sigma Pi Epsilon Sued for Student’s Death at Ohio University
The parents of an Ohio University student who died while pledging the Epsilon chapter of Sigma Pi in 2018 are now suing the fraternity.
The suit, filed last week, alleges that fraternity members participated in severe hazing and forced 18-year-old Collin Wiant to ingest nitrous oxide at 45 Mill Street on November 12, 2018, which led to his death. A toxicology report also found that Wiant tested positive for alcohol and THC in his blood at the time of his passing.
“Collin Wiant died inside the Epsilon Chapter annex house shortly after the 911 call was made,” the lawsuit alleges. “His body was found surrounded by drug paraphernalia, including canisters of nitrous oxide.”
Within the lawsuit, Wiant’s family said that their son found out on September 15, 2018, that he was one of ten students selected for the pledge class.
The wrong death suit, filed against the fraternity and ten other unnamed members, claims that from September to November of 2018, pledges were subjected to multiple forms of hazing including excessive alcohol consumption, being beaten with belts, and sleep deprivation, among others.
“We have evidence of on the Tennessee trip of Collin being beaten so bad he came home with bruising and gashes on his back,” Rex Elliott, the Wiant family’s attorney told ABC 6. “It was a terrible, horrific experience for him.”
Meanwhile, in a statement sent to 10TV, the Sigma Pi fraternity claimed that they haven’t yet been served with a copy of the suit and will determine a future course of action only after going through the allegations.
“We are aware of the tragic passing of Collin Wiant this past November and we continue to extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. To my knowledge, Sigma Pi International has not been served with a lawsuit involving Mr. Wiant, so we are not able to comment. If we are served with a lawsuit, our attorneys will review and determine the appropriate response,” the statement reads.
Earlier this month, the parents of a Penn State University sophomore who died while pledging the Beta Theta Pi fraternity in 2017 sued 28 former fraternity members, alleging them of negligence, conspiracy and wrongful death due to hazing.