Texas State Student Sues Frat After Attack Left Him With Brain Damage
Texas State University student, Nikolas Panagiotopoulos, is suing the Texas State of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. The student claims that he and another student were walking past a building owned by the frat when they were attacked by members of the fraternity. A crowd of members and other guests allegedly taunted Panagiotopoulos as he walked past the frat house. The apparent reason is that members of Pi Kappa Phi believed that Panagiotopoulos was a member of a rival fraternity.
Panagiotopoulos attempted to flee but was run down by members of the frat who relentlessly beat him. He was left unconscious on the street. According to the complaint, Panagiotopoulos suffered brain damage and other severe injuries.
At least one student videotaped the assault as it occurred and you could hear someone in the background yelling to call the cops. Panagiotopoulos’ injuries included a skull fracture and it’s unclear what kind of lasting impact the assault will have on his cognitive ability. The young man spent months in the hospital and was not able to finish his semester.
Pi Kappa Phi is accused of multiple counts of negligence including failing to diffuse the situation as it unfolded. Attorneys for the plaintiff say that the fraternity encourages a culture that is built on consumption of alcohol, bullying, and violence. The plaintiff is seeking $1 million in damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost earning capacity.
The school responded by suspending Pi Kappa Phi as soon as they were made aware of the incident. It is not clear if there will be any criminal charges ensuing from the attack, but for obvious reasons, there should be.
Examining the Frat’s Liability
Fraternities are classified as 501(c)(8) or 501(c)(10) organizations. They can be sued just like any corporate entity can. The question is one of liability. Even if frat members were not the ones who either initiated or took part in the fight, they can still be held liable in a civil claim. This type of lawsuit is filed under the theory of negligent security.
Since the assault took place directly outside the frat house and social guests or frat members themselves were involved in causing the altercation, the frat house is liable because they either knew or should have known that they were putting passersby in harm’s way. In premises liability lawsuits, the question of foreseeability plays a pivotal role. In this case, it can be argued that the fraternity members actually caused the assault to take place, which makes the assault not only foreseeable but the expected result of their actions.
Talk to a Houston Negligent Security Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured on-premises, the Houston assault & negligent security attorneys at Livingston & Flowers can file a claim on your behalf seeking money damages as compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys have recorded multi-million-dollar verdicts and have the experience you need to take your case to trial if need be. Call us today for a free consultation.