First District Judge Clint Judkins on Thursday rejected Utah State University’s claim to be immune of civil liability in the death of fraternity pledge Michael Starks. The 18 year-old freshman died of alcohol poisoning after a Rush Week activity in 2008.The ruling allows a lawsuit filed by Starks’ parents to advance. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Starks’ parents have settled civil claims against the Sigma Nu fraternity’s national organization. They also filed suit against USU alleging officials should have exercised better control over Greek organizations.The Starkses’ attorney, Charles Thronsen, said the university knew of these activities, or should have known, and they remained silent. Judge Judkins rejected the state’s immunity claims after hearing arguments from both sides.
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