MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A lawsuit says a former West Virginia University student has permanent brain damage because his fraternity brothers didn’t help him after he fell down the stairs at a party, instead ridiculing his unconscious body for hours before calling 911.
The filing from the father of David M. Rusko alleges that fellow students posed for selfies with his son, squirted ketchup on him and posted pictures on social media, The Dominion Post reported Thursday.
Video footage showed Rusko, 22, had difficulty breathing and was unresponsive while the party continued in November 2018, the lawsuit says. By the time someone called for help, he was bleeding from the nose, foaming at the mouth and his brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen.
David A. Rusko filed the suit Wednesday, saying his son is now paralyzed and needs 24-hour nursing. He is seeking compensation for his son’s injuries as well as punitive damages.
The defendants include the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, more than a dozen students and the frat’s house mother.
A fraternity spokesman said “Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity continues to send our thoughts and prayers to David Rusko and his family.” He said they have not been served with the lawsuit and declined to comment further.
The university suspended the fraternity and disciplined its members. Morgantown Police have been investigating.
The lawsuit describes the frat as a “repeat violator” of college rules and the fraternity’s own code of conduct, serving alcohol to people under 21 and hosting unregistered social functions. The fraternity house also had unsafe conditions, including steep, narrow stairs without a handrail, according to the lawsuit.