On Nov. 1, 2012, a 19-year-old college freshman attended a pledge party for a fraternity at Northern Illinois University. The following day, he was found dead with a blood alcohol level of .43 percent. To put that number in perspective, the legal limit for driving is less than one-fifth that amount, .08 percent. Twenty-two individuals now face criminal charges arising from the incident — 17 face misdemeanor charges, and five students are charged with felony hazing. The victim’s family filed a wrongful death suit that names 23 defendants, including the fraternity.
Recently, a judge granted the family’s request to subpoena records from the criminal investigation for use in civil suit. The family seeks information regarding who else was at the party that night as they believe 45 people attended. The family wishes to determine whether any of the unnamed individuals may bear some responsibility.