Parents of Timothy Piazza, Penn State Student Who Died During Hazing Ritual, Reach Settlement With Fraternity

Jim and Evelyn Piazza, right, stand by as Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, second from left, announces the results of an investigation into the death of their son Timothy Piazza during a press conference, May 5, 2017, in Bellefonte, Pa. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP FILE)

The parents of Timothy Piazza, the Penn State student who died while pledging for the fraternity Beta Theta Pi, have reached a settlement with the fraternity’s national organization over the 19-year-old’s death in 2017.

The terms of the settlement and amount of money the parties settled for was not disclosed, per the terms of the agreement, according to a statement released by the family.

Piazza died after taking part in a hazing ritual known as the “Gauntlet,” on Feb. 2, 2017. After Piazza, who was heavily intoxicated, fell down the stairs at the Beta Theta Pi house, fraternity members carried him upstairs and placed him on a couch, poured water on his face and slapped him in an attempt to wake him up, according to a grand jury report that cited evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records.

By the time 911 was called the next day, Piazza’s skin had turned gray and his breathing was labored. He died two days later of traumatic brain injury.

The Piazzas will now be able to “move forward with any claims against any other parties, including the individual perpetrators, arising from Tim Piazza’s death,” the statement read.

The settlement also includes a “sweeping fraternity-conduct Reform Agreement aimed at averting another preventable death.”

The reform program comprises 17 points, including requiring all chapter houses to be alcohol- and substance-free by August 2020, involving Piazza’s parents in any decision-making about how the closed Beta chapter house at Penn state is used in the future and requiring that the college or university’s police or public safety department be immediately notified of any reported student conduct violations that result in “serious bodily injury or death of a member, new member or third-party guest.”

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SOURCE: ABC News, Julia Jacobo

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