The family of a Cal Poly student who died after participating in a fraternity initiation has settled a lawsuit with the frat out of court.
Carson Starkey, an 18-year-old Cal Poly architecture freshman, died the morning of Dec. 2, 2008, after consuming excessive quantities of alcohol at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon “Brown Bag Night” rushing event.
On May 24, Starkey’s parents released a statement announcing they had reached a settlement with the Illinois-based fraternity, though they didn’t disclose specifics.
“These are problems that SAE and other fraternities have known about for decades,” they said in the statement. “Such failures were a cause of Carson’s death. In reaching a settlement with SAE, we have required that it make fundamental changes in the way it and its chapters operate, nationwide, particularly concerning hazing and the availability and misuse of alcohol.”
The Starkeys could not be reached for further comment as of press time.
The statement also said the settlement requires SAE to disclose “timely, accurate information about potential problems and dangers in the fraternity” to students who are considering joining as well as to their parents.
The family added that by proceeding to trial, they could have only been awarded financial compensation, and wouldn’t have been able to compel SAE to implement changes.
“Our efforts to honor Carson’s memory by protecting others have never been focused on personal financial compensation,” they wrote.