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Thursday, January 12, 2006



What did anyone at the school do to discover what was going on when he fell out the window? The discipline action against the frat house really sent a message *sarcasm*

These tragedies will continue until some enterprising lawyer does something.



Liz Ditz

he cold body of Danny Ray Daniels was found in a room at Phi Gamma Delta fraternity near Fresno State on a Sunday afternoon in January 2006. His roommate called 911, but it was too late. Daniels, 19, had been dead for several hours, his parents say.

He died of alcohol poisoning.

Now, 15 months later, Cassandra Daniels and Danny Daniels are suing the fraternity and California State University, Fresno, charging them with negligence and wrongful death.

Fresno State spokeswoman Shirley Melikian Armbruster said Monday the university hadn't seen a copy of the lawsuit and would not be able to comment on pending litigation.

A phone call to Phi Gamma Delta's headquarters in Kentucky was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit, which was filed Friday and made available Monday in Fresno County Superior Court, says that early on the morning of Jan. 8, 2006, members of Phi Gamma Delta or others living at the fraternity house "induced or forced" Daniels to drink "massive quantities of alcohol."

They should have known that Daniels might need emergency medical care if he became severely intoxicated, the lawsuit says. Instead of keeping Daniels in a public place where he could be monitored, the fraternity members or others put him in a secluded room at the fraternity house, the lawsuit says.

Tests later showed that Daniels had a blood-alcohol level of 0.34 -- more than four times the legal limit for driving.

"The fraternity required him to drink as part of their hazing -- which, in all fairness, they deny -- and provided him with alcohol," said the family's Oakland attorney, Steven Jacobsen. "Under normal drinking circumstances he would have passed out before getting to that level."

The parents also charge that Fresno State knew about hazing and drinking at Phi Gamma Delta -- nicknamed FIJI -- and other fraternities, but didn't do enough to prevent Daniels' death.

Fresno State shares responsibility for the death because it regulates fraternities, even though it's not required to do so, Jacobsen said.

"Once you decide to regulate something, you have to do it right," he said.

Phi Gamma Delta already was on suspension for numerous violations when Daniels was found dead. The fraternity's national organization previously had granted the Fresno State chapter a two-year exemption to the national alcohol-free housing policy.

The Fresno Police Department investigated Daniels' death but did not file charges.

Fresno State officials banned Phi Gamma Delta for five years after a university investigation into the incident.


So he was not enrolled and was not a member of the fraternity? Yet these lawyers are trying to sue both the fraternity and the school? This seems stupid. As for the hazing and putting him in a secluded area. The "Secluded area" was his own room which most likely he went into on his own. He was not a member so why would anyone try to say he was hazed? It seems like another person trying to make a quick buck off of anothers misfortune. What will they gain off of this? Does this help them sleep at night. This is a tragic situation and maybe pointing the blame at someone else helps them take tackle own guilt. This kid was not enrolled for an entire year. Where was his family then?

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