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Family of LSU student Max Gruver awarded $6.1 million in damages over hazing death
BATON ROUGE - A jury awarded the family of Max Gruver, an 18-year-old LSU freshman who died of alcohol poisoning less than 12 hours after a Phi Delta Theta hazing incident, was awarded $6.1 million in damages for their son's death, according to The Advocate.
The newspaper reported that Gruver's parents, Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver, won their wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday.
The panel of five men and three women decided Gruver's parents should receive $6 million for their son's death and another $100,000 for the pain Gruver suffered during and after the fraternity's hazing.
Gruver participated in Phi Delta Theta's "Bible Study" event, a hazing ritual in which fraternity members would quiz pledges on the history of the fraternity and force them to drink high-volume alcohol known as Diesel when they answered incorrectly, The Advocate said. An affidavit showed that Gruver was unfairly targeted during the event.
Gruver had a blood-alcohol level of .495 when he died.
“This definitely sends a message to would-be hazers across the country to take pause and think about what you’re doing,” Gruver’s father, Stephen, said outside the courtroom moments after the verdict, according to The Advocate. “Think about the dangers of hazing, think about how it can harm people and how you’ll be held accountable.”
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