Student Suing Fraternity After Rum-Fueled Hazing Incident Left Him With 1% Chance of Survival
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Student Suing Fraternity After Rum-Fueled Hazing Incident Left Him With 1% Chance of Survival

Student Suing Fraternity After Rum-Fueled Hazing Incident Left Him With 1% Chance of Survival

(Photo: ABC7/YouTube)

An alleged hazing ritual at Kappa Sigma Fraternity almost resulted in the death of a San Diego State University student. The student, Benjamin Brennan, is now suing the fraternity and nine of its former members. 

The lawsuit details how the hazing left Brennan in a coma as a 19-year-old freshman. Fraternity members allegedly forced him to drink a whole bottle of rum in 30 minutes while being hit with paddles as part of a pledge in April 2021. 

“There was a 750 ml bottle of Captain Morgan rum. He was instructed, he was commanded to drink it all. And, they provided tobacco and marijuana, and he was supposed to consume that as well,” said James P. Frantz, the family’s lawyer according to ABC7.

When Brennan fell unconscious the lawsuit claims the fraternity members dropped him at the hospital without alerting staff. 

“Hospital personnel found Plaintiff Brennan unconscious, vomiting and not protecting his airways,” the lawsuit details. “Plaintiff Brennan was placed on life support, intubated and was given a one percent chance of survival by treating physicians due to his grave condition and Blood Alcohol Content Level of 489 which was recorded at some point in time long after Brennan had stopped consuming alcohol.”

Brennan was in a coma and somehow managed to survive but he is far from back to normal. His recovery has been long a process. 

“He can’t work, and we don’t know if he’ll be able to. He can’t go back to school now. All those types of damages, and all the emotional distress damages he’s going to suffer,” said Frantz.

“Pre-incident, Ben was everyone’s favorite guy. He lit up a room,’ his sister, Kaitlin Brennan, told ABC7. ‘Now, it feels like we’re getting to know a new Ben.”

San Diego State University expelled the Kappa Sigma chapter in 2022. 

“What happened to Benjamin Brennan is unacceptable under any circumstances, and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity has taken action against the individuals who were involved,” executive director of the national Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Mitchell B Wilson told Fox News. “As an organization, we continue to adamantly oppose hazing, the misuse of alcohol and placing the health and safety of any person at risk.”

Brennan is currently facing an uncertain future after this hazing incident resulted in extreme alcohol poisoning. If this lawsuit resolves in Brennan’s favor it may at least provide financial stability while he continues to recover. 

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Jessica Gleman is the managing editor of Rum Raiders. She received her Ph.D. at the University College of Dublin in Ireland, where she studied the archaeology of ancient alcohol. Jessica has a passion for the alcohol industry, including agriculture, distillation and mixology. When Jessica is not writing about rum, she is also a travel and food enthusiast who loves going around the world and experiencing various cuisines and cultures. She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and expertise and learning even more about this amazing spirit.