Families of 2003 Yale Car Crash Victims Settle Negligence Lawsuits against Delta Kappa Epsilon FratBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
The family of Nicholas Grass of Holyoke, Mass., one of the four Yale University students killed in a 2003 car crash in Connecticut, has settled a negligence lawsuit against the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
According to records, the lawsuit was filed in 2005. The lawsuit was settled under undisclosed terms earlier in September, reports ABC.
While returning from a frat event in New York City, a SUV, containing nine students huddled together, slammed into a tractor-trailer that had already crashed in a previous accident.
The lawsuit alleged that the frat leaders failed to provide secure transportation home and the SUV driver, who was a Yale student and frat member, was sleep-deprived, according to abc.
Apart from 19-year-old Grass, the crash killed the SUV driver, Sean Fenton, 20, of Newport Beach, Calif., and two Yale students - Andrew Dwyer, 19, of Hobe Sound, Fla.; Kyle Burnat, 19, of Atlanta. Grass and Burnat were pitchers on Yale's baseball team.
The remaining students in the SUV sustained injuries. Some of them were members of the university's football team.
"Obviously it was a terrible tragedy, and the family is glad to put this behind them and move forward," said attorney Marc Grenier, the administrator for Grass' estate.
According to the documents, lawyers for the fraternity claimed that the Delta Kappa Epsilon shouldn't be held responsible for the incident because it couldn't have predicted the 'series of unfortunate events' that led to the accident.
The lawsuit also named the state Department of Transportation and two construction companies as defendants as they were responsible for safety at the highway construction site where the tractor-trailer crashed.
Other victims' families also sued the state and the two companies. However, the lawyers in the case said that allegations against the state were dismissed because they enjoy government immunity from lawsuits, while the construction companies entered into similar settlements.