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86 Fraternity Members Sued Over Tailgating Death

Destiny Baker3 years ago

86 current and former members of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon have been sued in connection to a fatal tailgating accident at a 2011 Yale-Harvard football game.

About the Yale Tailgating Accident

According to FOX News, a U-Haul truck carrying beer kegs was traveling to a tailgating area designated for members of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon when the truck struck three women, killing Nancy Barry, 30, and injuring two others.

According to prosecutors, the driver of the truck, Yale student and fraternity member Brendan Ross, had revved the truck’s engine after turning a corner in an effort to get pedestrians to move, but the vehicle sped up and struck the three women. He was entered into a probation program that effectively cleared all the criminal charges against him including negligent homicide and reckless driving.

The families of Barry and one of the injured women, Yale student Sarah Short, filed a lawsuit against Ross, the national chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Yale and U-Haul seeking damages for Barry’s death and Short’s injuries.

New Lawsuit Filed over Yale Tailgating Accident

Though the original lawsuit is still pending, the plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a new lawsuit against 86 former and current members of the Yale chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

The new lawsuit follows a disclosure from the national chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon and its insurer in which they claim that the national chapter did not sanction the tailgating event at the game and its insurance company does not cover non-fraternity damages.

Though the plaintiffs’ are adamant that the tailgating party was “defiantly and obviously a Sigma Phi Epsilon-sponsored fraternity event,” they claim the new lawsuit was a move that was forced by the national fraternity’s posturing.

Because the Yale chapter, if cut off from the national chapter, is a voluntary association, it is neither incorporated nor legally organized and is not insured, thus the lawsuits fall on those who were members during the crash and current members.

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