Fraternity pledge files lawsuit with state after injuries from alleged hazing

An Oswego State student is suing the state over injuries he received from a hazing incident at a fraternity.

Liam McDonald said the incident occurred on Oct. 8 while pledging with Sigma Gamma, according to the lawsuit filed in the state Court of Claims. The lawsuit states that McDonald’s injuries included a ruptured spleen and injuries to the chest and abdominal area that caused internal bleeding.

The lawsuit accuses the state of negligence due to Oswego State’s approval of Sigma Gamma as a registered fraternity last August, but failure to supervise and control the fraternity’s recruitment activities.

Julie Blissert, Oswego State director of Public Affairs, told the Post-Standard that Oswego State officials don’t comment on matters that are subject of lawsuits. She did, however, issue a written statement saying, “SUNY Oswego each year takes many steps to prevent hazing by educating and warning students and others on campus about its dangers and risks.”

The college also holds training sessions on recognizing hazing and bonding activities that aren’t considered hazing.

Hazing allegations are investigated by the University Police and the college’s disciplinary system, Blissert told the Post-Standard.

McDonald is from Albany and the lawsuit does not specify whether or not he is still enrolled at Oswego State.

One thought on “Fraternity pledge files lawsuit with state after injuries from alleged hazing

  1. It’s unfortunate what happened to Liam and I really hope he gets justice. I don’t understand how the school didn’t mandate Gamma to have liability insurance. There was definitely negligence on behalf of the state. It’s unfair what happened to him. Liam was trying to simply join an organization with individuals who he (mistakenly) thought were his friends and could make his college experience more beneficial, instead he ends up in the hospital with life threatening injuries. This could happen to ANY of us. I’m not trying to bash Greek life as a whole, because I understand that these tactics aren’t universal, but the barbaric methods of initiation used by Gamma nearly took the life of a young man and this behavior needs to stop.

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