Stillwell, Kansas, resident Matt Fritzie is suing the Kansas University fraternity Phi Gamma Delta for injuries he claims he suffered after being forced to dive into a frat-constructed swimming pool as part of the fraternity’s annual Fiji Island pledge party.
The party took place September 17th, according to the lawsuit in which Fritzie claims a number of appalling things. Firstly, a number of minors were apparently served alcohol as part of the party proceedings. Additionally, the pledges were ordered to construct a homemade swimming pool out of sandbags. This is a particular sticking point for the fraternity, for a number of reasons.
First, the KU chapter of Phi Gamma Delta has been warned in the past about issues of behavior and safety at its Fiji Island parties. Additionally, national fraternity guidelines clearly stipulate that pools and ponds are forbidden at pledge parties.
Fraternity leaders allegedly violated all these rules and served alcohol liberally before ordering Fritzie to jump into the sandbag pool after forcing the freshman pledges to construct it. Fritzie suffered a series of injuries including spinal column trauma and permanent paralysis.
The incident took place in Kansas, but was filed in Missouri because that is the location of the parent chapter’s pledge education center. The suit alleges that the parent fraternity officials were aware of the safety issues and violations of past Fiji Island parties, and put little to no effort toward correcting the matter.
The lawsuit does not stipulate the number of claims being filed, nor does it explain the degree of compensation sought for damages. Attorneys for Fritzie and for the fraternity were unavailable for comment according to local news sources, and as of this writing there is no date set for court proceedings in the case.