Former FSU student files suit against fraternity in alleged assault

Published: Sep. 12, 2018 at 4:24 PM EDT
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By: Alex Crescenti | WCTV Eyewitness News

September 12, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A former member of FSU's Alpha Epsilon Pi is now suing the fraternity and several of its members after he was injured by a "potent punch" earlier this year.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the victim, alleges he was injured during the fraternity's "Scumbag of the Week" tradition, when he was punched in the face and fell and hit his head. It's something his lawyer says could impact him the rest of his life.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday names eight individuals, many of them members of the fraternity. It also includes Oliver Walker. Walker is facing criminal chargers for the incident, including battery. However, those charges do not include hazing, which the suit alleges.

The national chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi is also included in the lawsuit. The victim's lawyer says they are suing the fraternity because the fraternity knew about the tradition and did nothing to stop it.

"They had a representative present and according to the police report, the representative witnessed the entire thing and his reaction was rather than shutting it down, and I'm quoting the police report, 'he laughed his head off,'" said attorney David Bianchi.

The lawsuit claims that even though the victim was a member of the fraternity, he had no idea the tradition existed before it happened.

Bianchi, who also represented the family of Andrew Coffey, said they chose not to sue FSU in either instance because the university did nothing wrong and has a strong anti-hazing policy.

We reached out to Alpha Epsilon Pi on Wednesday afternoon and they told us they had not received the lawsuit yet and would not comment on it at this time. Joe Boddiford, the criminal defense attorney for Oliver Walker, also declined to comment.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

September 12, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A former member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Florida State is suing the fraternity and several members for monetary damages after allegedly being struck during a fraternity function, causing him permanent brain damage.

According to the complaint filed on Wednesday with the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit in Leon County, the plaintiff, a former Florida State University student, was injured


The suit alleges 20-year-old Oliver Walker struck the plaintiff's face "harder than he should have and harder than he intended," as part of the fraternity's "Scumbag of the Week," tradition, in which a member is selected to be hit in the face.

The suit continues to allege that, as a result, the plaintiff fell to the floor, struck his head and was immediately unconscious. He bled from his mouth due to a cracked tooth and formed a golf ball sized lump on the back of his head. The victim was later diagnosed with "a fractured skull, a traumatic hemorrhage of the cerebrum, a traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage and a traumatic subdural hemorrhage."

The suit alleges the plaintiff was transported from the AEPi house to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital by other fraternity brothers, who told hospital staff he had fallen down stairs "while playing basketball outside on the fraternity's deck."

The suit alleges that the plaintiff now suffers from encephalomalacia, with damage done to his right frontal lobe.

The suit says the plaintiff is suing the defendants, including the fraternity and several officers, for damages in excess of $15,000.