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In November of last year, a 19-year-old pledge named Trevor Duffy was forced to drink a handle of Belvedere vodka during a pledging ceremony. He passed out, and after an argument, the fraternity brothers finally called for help. When paramedics arrived, they found him with a BAC of .583. He later died at a nearby hospital. While the students claimed to represent Zeta Beta Tau, neither the university, nor the national fraternity recognize their organization, therefore making them unaffiliated.
Authorities in Albany seem to be wrapping up their investigation into the case and have formally charged and arrested four students for their roles in Duffy’s death.
Olaf Jablonski, 20, Yuval Sucov, 20, Jonathan Maldanado, 21, and Steven Vila, 22, are all charged with first-degree hazing, a misdemeanor, in Trevor Duffy’s death, spokesman Steven Smith says.
According to an earlier article on the incident, Duffy’s parents believe that he was forced to drink and suffered before his death.
The claim was filed by Duffy’s father, Stephen Duffy. He did not want to comment on the potential lawsuit, but the claim states he believed his son suffered for hours and was pushed to drink heavily by a recognized Jewish fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, at the school.
The claim further states Duffy suffered severe conscious pain leading to his death. It also alleges the university was negligent and failed to warn and protect students against hazing and the fraternity.
Since their son’s death, Duffy’s parents have filed a $55 million lawsuit against the school.
Police said that while four have already been arrested and charged, there are more charges pending, and several more could be arrested in the coming days..
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