Education

Drake University, fraternity sued over hazing incident

DES MOINES — A student is suing Drake University in Des Moines, along with a fraternity at the school and several fellow students, for an unspecified amount after he said he nearly died from a hazing incident.

Court documents filed Feb. 7 show Marcus Shields is suing the school, Theta Chi fraternity, its Drake chapter and others. The lawsuit says Shields was a 19-year-old freshman last year and a Theta Chi pledge when the fraternity engaged in hazing, including coercing and forcing him to drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

The lawsuit says Shields became dangerously drunk and was vomiting and pleading that he “didn’t want to die.”

Shields says in the lawsuit that he lost consciousness and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he had to be resuscitated because of acute alcohol poisoning. His lawsuit says he suffered severe and permanent injuries.

Shields’ lawsuit says both Drake and Theta Chi were negligent, accusing Drake of failing to enforce its anti-hazing policy and the fraternity of failing to supervise the Gamma Tau chapter.

Drake University issued a statement noting the incident was off-campus and that it provided “appropriate assistance and support” to Shields. The fraternity issued a statement saying it does not tolerate hazing.

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