Defendants to be added to lawsuit in Palatine man's hazing death

Sixteen women will be added as defendants in a lawsuit filed against Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity and several of its members by the family of David Bogenberger, a Northern Illinois University freshman from Palatine who died of alcohol poisoning Nov. 2 after a hazing ritual, according to the family's attorney.

The amended complaint is expected to be filed Friday, May 3, in Cook County court alleging the women took part in the fraternity initiation ritual Nov. 1 and 2 that caused the 19-year-old Palatine High School graduate's death.

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 threshold for driving.

The initial 18-page complaint named 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.

The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in damages and additional costs.

The suit claims the international fraternity recruits and retains members for its local chapters and accepts dues from students, which go, in part, to support the national organization. Five officers of Pi Kappa Alpha are facing felony hazing charges, and 17 other fraternity members are charged with misdemeanor hazing.

The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity issued a statement in February saying the fraternity maintains standards with respect to alcohol and hazing, and it's suspended the Eta Nu Chapter and its former undergraduate members.

“The International Fraternity does not manage or control the day-to-day activities of the affiliated chapters nor their adult members,” Executive Vice President Justin Buck said in the statement. “However, it has and will continue to provide resources and education on alcohol abuse and hazing through its website; partnership with programs such as and anti-hazing hotline; and through its educational conferences which have an annual attendance of over 3,300 students.”

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