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Yale frat death lawsuit: 86 frat brothers sued as National frat severs ties

Yale frat death conjures up unusual lawsuit as 86 fraternity members sued instead of fraternity itself.
Yale frat death conjures up unusual lawsuit as 86 fraternity members sued instead of fraternity itself.
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A Yale frat death lawsuit names 86 current and past members of a Yale fraternity in two identical lawsuits. The Yale frat death, which one of the lawsuits refers to, is that of a woman who was mowed down and killed by a U-Haul truck carrying kegs of beer to the Yale frat section of a tailgating party in 2011. That truck was driven by a Yale frat brother, according to Yale News on Jan. 14.

The second and identical lawsuit was filed by a Yale student who was also mowed down by the same truck, but survived. A Harvard student was the third injury in the accident. The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brother was driving the U-Haul truck when he lost control and hit three bystanders at a Yale-Harvard tailgating party.

The lawsuits name all the students who belonged to the Yale fraternity at the time of the accident, whether or not they were at the game. 30-year-old Nancy Barry, of Salem, Mass, who is the deceased woman, and the Yale student, Sarah Short, are represented by separate lawyers who had no other choice but to go after the individuals.

Paul Edwards, the lawyer for Barry's estate, explains they have no choice but to go after the individual fraternity members because the national chapter of the fraternity severed any legal connections to the Yale fraternity local chapter for this case. This means that the insurance, which is carried by the national chapter, won’t cover these lawsuits. Short's attorney, Joel Faxon, claims that there is no doubt that the Sigma Phi Epsilon's national chapter is liable, according to Yahoo News today.

It looks as though the national fraternity may be helping the frat members named in the suit behind the scenes. Since almost all of the people named in the lawsuit are now represented by the same attorney, Jeremy Platek, a White Plains, N.Y., this may indicate that they've stepped in.