Lawsuit filed over alcohol-related death of NIU student

The family of a Northern Illinois University freshman who died last November, reportedly after an alcohol-related hazing incident at a fraternity, filed suit Thursday in Cook County circuit court seeking unspecified damages, according to a news release.

The 14-page complaint names as defendants the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, Inc., the local chapter Kappa Alpha Eta Nu, and officers and members of the fraternity alleged to have been involved in the initiation event that claimed the life of Palatine High School graduate David R. Bogenberger, 19.

Bogenberger was found unresponsive at the fraternity house early Nov. 2. The DeKalb County coroner's office said toxicology results found his blood alcohol content was about five times the legal limit for driving.

Five officers of Pi Kappa Alpha face felony hazing charges, and 17 other fraternity members are charged with misdemeanor hazing.

“The international fraternity is in the business of recruiting and retaining members to its local chapters. Students who are recruited and accepted into the fraternity pay dues which go, in part, to support the national organization,” said Peter R. Coladarci, the Bogenberger family's attorney.

“The national organization has a responsibility to provide meaningful training, supervision and oversight to its local chapters so that fraternity members understand that alcohol related hazing is dangerous and potentially deadly,” Coladarci said.

Each of the individuals named as a defendant in the civil action also is facing criminal charges announced by the DeKalb County State's Attorney in December.

“The Bogenberger Family continues to grieve in private. They will make no further statement for the time being,” Coladarci said.

Calls to the national office of Pi Kappa Alpha were not immediately returned.

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