The parents of a 20-year-old student who fell to his death after a 2010 New Year's Eve fraternity party on the University of Pennsylvania campus will receive more than $3 million from the fraternity and a beer distributor in a wrongful-death settlement, the family's lawyers said.
David and Helene Crozier of Yardley also reached a settlement with Penn, but its terms are confidential, one of the family's lawyers said through a spokesman Monday.
Matthew Crozier, a La Salle College High School graduate and junior at John Carroll University near Cleveland, suffered severe head injuries after a 30-foot fall over a railing from the second floor to the first floor of the Phi Kappa Sigma house. He was at the party with friends and was intoxicated, according to the lawsuit.
The fraternity's national headquarters has revoked the fraternity's charter and it is no longer active on Penn's campus, said university spokeswoman Phyllis Holtzman. The house had been at 3539 Locust Walk.
"If the case had gone to trial, a jury would have been repulsed by the multitude of failures by Phi Kappa Sigma and the other defendants," the Croziers' lawyer, Robert J. Mongeluzzi of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky P.C., said in a statement.
"Combined, their negligence clearly led to the death of an extraordinary young man with the brightest of futures. The fraternity, besides permitting excessive alcohol consumption by minors on its property, was repeatedly directed by the university to upgrade its inadequate railing to conform with building codes, and it did nothing."
The fraternity, known as "the Skulls," was supposed to have been alcohol-free under a policy it adopted in 2000, the lawyers noted.
Under the settlement, Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity Inc. agreed to pay $3 million and Suds Beer Store of Trevose $375,000, according to the family's lawyers.
A man who answered the phone at the beer distributor Monday afternoon declined to comment. The fraternity also declined to comment.
The lawsuit said Crozier bought alcohol at the beer distributor and was served alcohol at the fraternity house. The house was evacuated before midnight when a fire alarm went off and Penn emergency personnel responded, but the party was allowed to resume, the suit said.
Crozier and a woman were walking up steps when he tripped, fell over the railing, and landed on his head, the lawsuit said. He died later in the week.