A wrongful death suit has been filed against Utah State University by the family of Michael Starks, an 18-year old USU student who died of alcohol poisoning after an alleged hazing incident last fall.In the suit filed Tuesday in Logan’s First District Court, Jane and George Starks claim the university long tolerated “a culture of drug and alcohol abuse” at the Sigma Nu Fraternity house where the teenage freshman pledge died on November 21, 2008. The suit not only accuses fraternity chapters of straying from their chartering principles but argues that universities have a legal obligation to bring student organizations into line, especially when they encourage students to join. USU officials expressed sympathy to the Starks family but denied that the school is liable in their son’s death.
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