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Boston Fraternity Sued for Wrongful Death of Inexperienced Freshman Drinker

July 23, 2015

Freshman engineering student at Boston University, Anthony Barksdale II, died in 2013 with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .33 percent. He was a victim of a fraternity initiation.

Barksdale’s parents elected to file a wrongful death lawsuit against fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu and the chapter’s 2013 vice president, president and another chapter brother, after an autopsy indicated their son had died of alcohol poisoning. His BAC was four times over the legal limit.

According to court papers, chapter members handed the young man a 1.5-liter full bottle of vodka and forced him to drink it all. Apparently the fraternity chapter held the initiation party off campus because they knew there would be underage drinkers in attendance. The fraternity did not notify the university of the event.

Although 18-year-old Barksdale did not drink the whole bottle, he was severely intoxicated and collapsed at the party. Although fraternity brothers did realize Anthony was completely drunk, they took him outside and left him there, unattended. No one thought to seek medical assistance or call for emergency help.

Several hours later, Barksdale was brought back into the apartment building and deposited on the couch, but again, nothing was done to help him. It was not until he threw up that people realized he needed help and placed a call to 911. As emergency responders were on their way, another partygoer performed CPR and succeeded in temporarily reviving him. But he passed out once again and quit breathing. EMS arrived on the scene just after midnight but could not revive him. He died at the hospital.

The family hopes that their wrongful death lawsuit sends a strong, clear message that this kind of event should never happen again — to anyone.

In the meantime, the family had to deal with the pressing necessity of an expensive funeral and burial plus end of life medical assistance. They may find the right financial solution online by applying for a lawsuit loan from a litigation funding company.

Pre-settlement funding can be a lifesaver in situations like this one where the family is suddenly tasked with trying to find enough money to pay for unexpected bills. A lawsuit loan allows them to pay all of their expenses, including the usual and the extraordinary, while they take time to heal and consult with legal counsel for case preparation.

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