Family awarded $3M in frat party death

Dec. 4, 2012 at 5:07 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania college student's parents will get more than $3 million after their son fell to his death during a frat party at the University of Pennsylvania.

Matthew Crozier, 20, a junior at John Carroll University, was attending a New Year's Eve 2010 party at the Phi Kappa Sigma house. When walking up a flight of stairs to the home's second floor while intoxicated, Crozier tripped and fell over a railing, landing on his head. He died several days later, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Lawyers for Crozier's parents, David and Helene Crozier, said the university had repeatedly cited the fraternity for the faulty railing and ordered members to fix it, though they did not. The frat was also supposed to be alcohol-free following a 2000 pledge to ban drinking -- a pledge that was entirely ignored, the lawyers said.

"If the case had gone to trial, a jury would have been repulsed by the multitude of failures by Phi Kappa Sigma and the other defendants," the Croziers' lawyer, Robert J. Mongeluzzi told the Inquirer.

The fraternity's national organization agreed to pay $3 million in damages to the Crozier family, the newspaper said. Suds beer distributor, where Crozier was allowed to purchase beer underage, agreed to pay $375,000. Neither group commented for the Inquirer's story.

The Phi Kappa Sigma chapter at Penn has been shut down since the incident happened.

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