Starkey, Estate of Carson vs. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Individual Defendants

California Superior Court, San Luis Obispo County, Case No. CV 09 0534

On the night he died at a secret Sigma Alpha Epsilon hazing ritual, Carson was among the pledges who were ordered by fraternity leaders to drink large quantities of beer and hard alcohol. Cal Poly student Carson Starkey died of acute alcohol poisoning on Dec. 2, 2008, after a fraternity-related hazing.

He consumed the drinks in a matter of minutes, following direction from fraternity leaders — some of whom encouraged pledges to vomit and keep drinking.

Later, some Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members began to take Carson to the hospital because he was struggling to remain conscious and appeared severely ill. But they turned around in fear of getting in trouble and placed him on a mattress in the house, where he went back to sleep.

Carson never woke up again-unresponsive, unmonitored, and abandoned on a mattress.

Scott and Julia Starkey filed a lawsuit against the fraternity members and the fraternity’s national headquarters “to hold them accountable” and “to make changes in the fraternity system, university and law that would protect other students and families.”


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