Parents of Deceased OU Student Sue Fraternity


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The parents of an Ohio University student who died last year are suing Sigma Pi Epsilon, the fraternity chapter he pledged to.

Collin Wiant’s parents, Wade and Kathleen, are asking for over $25,000 in compensatory damages for each of the seven different claims against the Sigma Pi fraternity and its Athens chapter.

The suit claims that excessive hazing caused the 18-year-old’s death. According to the suit, the 18-year-old was forced into several acts of hazing, including taking drugs provided by the fraternity, sleep deprivation and alcohol use.

Collin was found dead last November inside Sigma Pi’s unofficial annex located at 45 Mill Street. The lawsuit claims it is the site of social gatherings, and explains alcohol and drugs were available.

The allegations against the fraternity and its Athens chapter include negligence; a violation of Ohio’s anti-hazing statue; two counts of negligent supervision; intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress; and civil conspiracy.

The lawsuit also highlights other instances of hazing by the Sigma Pi fraternity at other universities in the country.

In March 2016, Hofstra University’s Sigma Pi chapter was suspended after pictures and videos of hazing were made public. Later, in 2017, Hofstra University withdrew any recognition of the fraternity after it failed to provide any information about previous allegations. Last month, California Polytechnic State University suspended its local Sigma Pi chapter for hazing violations.

Collin Wiant is survived by his parents and four siblings.