A UNIVERSITY of Pennsylvania fraternity has agreed that a deficient stairway railing at its house contributed to the death of a man who fell about 30 feet over it after a New Year's Eve party in 2011.
Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity Inc. agreed to pay more than $3 million to the plaintiffs before the start of a wrongful death negligence trial. It also agreed to pay $375,000 to Suds Beer Store in Trevose, Bucks County.
Matthew Crozier, 20, a John Carrol University student and former La Salle College High basketball standout, died in a fall from the second floor during the party at the house at 3539 Locust Walk.
Robert J. Mongeluzzi, who represented Crozier's parents, said there was no doubt that the negligence of the defendants contributed to the death. He said the fraternity knowingly ignored, for at least five years before the accident, university demands to upgrade the deficient railing.
The frat house had established a no-alcohol policy in 2000.
"The frat's policy was a sham and everybody knew it," said Mongeluzzi. "It was 'Animal House,' and it was only a matter of time before its utter disregard for its own rules would prove deadly."