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Wagner Reese Obtains Favorable Appellate Decision in Fraternity Hazing Death Case

Steve Wagner

Attorney Steve Wagner recently won a significant appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals. Steve appealed the trial court’s summary judgement in favor of a national fraternity in an alcohol hazing death case against Delta Tau Delta. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and remanded the case, finding questions of fact on both assumption of duty and agency theories. In addition to the watershed ruling on the duty and agency issues in the context of fraternity hazing, the decision also overrules the trial court and strikes certain inadmissible evidence submitted by the defense in support of the summary judgment motion.

The defendant-appellee in this appeal is Delta Tau Delta International which has its headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. This is believed to be the first reported decision in Indiana finding that a national fraternity may be liable for injuries or death to a local fraternity member.

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