The family of Stone Foltz can finally begin the grieving process now that a settlement has been reached in their lawsuit against Bowling Green State University. The family was seeking $50,000 in damages after their son passed away of alcohol poisoning on March 4, 2021, following a Pi Kappa Alpha initiation event.
During the event, 20-year-old Foltz was handed a bottle of liquor and was told to consume all of it as part of his initiation into the fraternity. Not long after the event ended, Foltz’s roommate found him unconscious and not breathing in their apartment. He was immediately taken to a hospital but died three days later.
At the time of his death, Stone Foltz had a blood-alcohol level of 0.35, which is a little more than four times over the legal limit of 0.08. His death was ruled an accident and the cause was attributed to alcohol intoxication. Both the family and BGSU are dedicated to helping put an end to hazing on US campuses.
The family of Stone Foltz filed their lawsuit against BGSU in June 2022 – roughly 15 months after their son died. The settlement comes just six months later and will award the family with nearly $3 million from BGSU. Both parties released a joint statement revealing their plans to continue their fight against hazing.
“This resolution keeps the Foltz family and BGSU community from reliving the tragedy for years to come in the courtroom and allows us to focus on furthering our shared mission of eradicating hazing in Ohio and across the nation. Leading these efforts in our communities is the real work that honors Stone,” the statement read.
In addition to the $3 million the family is receiving from BGSU, they’re also receiving more than $7 million in payments from the fraternity – Pi Kappa Alpha – and anyone else who was involved in the hazing incident. The fraternity has also been expelled from the campus and will never be allowed to return.
Of those involved, eight of them were found guilty or pleaded guilty to a number of different charges – which included reckless homicide, hazing, and giving alcohol to a minor. Some of them were also charged, but not convicted, of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence. Two of the eight were acquitted.
BGSU and the Family of Stone Foltz Will Continue Their Mission
While many people are focusing on the financial aspect of the settlement, there’s something much more important at stake here – the future of hazing on college campuses. That’s why the two sides also settled on continuing to address and put an end to the hazing that occurs regularly among college students.
With that said, the family of Stone Foltz created a foundation in their son’s honor – called IamStoneFoltz. “We focus on prevention by educating both parents and students on the hazards of hazing. In addition, we provide “Alcohol 101” training on the deadly effects of alcohol poisoning” their website reads.
As for BGSU, they’ve already expelled the fraternity – like we mentioned above – but that’s not all they’re doing. They recently announced the hiring of a hazing prevention coordinator, who will directly field concerns and complaints from students that suspect hazing or have been a victim of such a crime.
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Not only that, but the incident helped inspire a new law in the state of Ohio aimed at reducing and, hopefully, ending hazing in campuses across the state. The law was named Collin’s Law in honor of Collin Wiant, another hazing victim who attended Ohio University. We can only hope more states follow suit.
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