Lawsuit: fraternity's pledge process resulted in prospect suffering injured spleen

By John Suayan | Sep 20, 2018

HOUSTON – A state district lawsuit asserts that the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s pledge process resulted in a University of Houston student sustaining a spleen injury two years ago.

The Gillespie Law Firm in Houston filed the 32-page complaint against the 150-year-old Greek life organization on behalf of Jared Anthony Munoz on Sept. 18 in the Harris County 295th District Court.

In addition to PKA, more than ten members of its local chapter face legal action.

Court documents explain that Munoz was among the approximately 25 men pledging in the fall of 2016. The plaintiff says he “expected to be subjected to an initiation that would test his loyalty to the fraternity, but he did not expect to be subjected to criminal acts and physical abuse.”

He recalls the fraternity and its leadership forcing him and his fellow pledges to participate in activities including, but not limited to cleaning a dilapidated residence while covered in human waste, drinking out of pressure heated beer cans, and playing a game of tackle football without any safety gear, as well as a “glow stick game” in which they were “tackled blindside” by active members.

It was during the latter activity in which Munoz sustained the injury in question, the original petition says.

The plaintiff further alleges that he was bleeding internally, but PKA did not give him proper medical attention nor allowed him to sit out from other activities. Following his release from the fraternity, he was later hospitalized in the intensive care unit for five days because of his spleen, the suit says.

Munoz claims the organization attempted to bribe him from reporting the hazing. PKA allegedly retaliated against him through online means when he brought the practices to the attention of the university’s police department.

A local grand jury criminally indicted the fraternity in late 2017. The case is currently active.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Harris County 295th District Court Case No. 2018-65584

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