College experience should not end in unexpected tragedy

Sending a child off to college should mark the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in that child’s life. There are an increasing number of reports in the media where that exciting chapter ended in an unexpected tragedy that resulted in the death of the college student. One such incident in California has resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit against a state university.

A young woman, like so many before her, had pledged a sorority. Hazing, though forbidden on most college campuses, remains a part of the Greek culture in many of the sororities and fraternities on college campuses. In this instance, the 19-year-old woman was allegedly forced to consume large amounts of alcohol, and the wrongful death suit claims that the hazing took place on campus grounds.

The young woman was found unresponsive at the home of a friend. She was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The medical staff were unable to revive her, and the cause of death was listed as acute alcohol poisoning. The parents are claiming negligence on the part of the campus.

Parents want to believe that their children are ready for the college experience and send them off with advice to study, work hard, have fun and enjoy the college experience. Sadly, alcohol is all too often part of that experience in California, and it can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts. The culture that pushes alcohol abuse as an acceptable part of the college experience deserves to be challenged. A family suffering from the death of a child due to an unexpected tragedy is left with a hole that can never be filled. A wrongful death suit cannot bring the child back but can result in compensation for medical costs and final costs.