Starkey, Estate of Carson vs. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Individual Defendants

California Superior Court, San Luis Obispo County, Case No. CV 09 0534

Cal Poly student Carson Starkey died of acute alcohol poisoning on Dec. 2, 2008, after a fraternity-related hazing. Carson was among the pledges who were ordered by Sigma Alpha Epsilon leaders to drink large quantities of beer and hard alcohol in a matter of minutes – some of whom were encouraged to vomit and keep drinking. Carson’s blood-alcohol level was .40%.

Later, some Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members began to take Carson to the hospital because he was struggling to remain conscious and appeared severely ill. But they turned around in fear of getting in trouble and placed him on a mattress in the house, where he went back to sleep.

Carson never woke up again-unresponsive, unmonitored, and abandoned on a mattress.

Scott and Julia Starkey filed a lawsuit against the fraternity members and the fraternity’s national headquarters “to hold them accountable” and “to make changes in the fraternity system, university and law that would protect other students and families.”


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