A Cal Poly fraternity that came under fire earlier this month for posting an offensive photo to social media is currently embroiled in a personal injury lawsuit, according to court records.
The lawsuit, filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court in February, claims that a member of the Cal Poly chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho chased the woman into a floor-to-ceiling glass panel in the fraternity's house in the 100 block of California Boulevard in 2015.
- FILE PHOTO
- FRAT TROUBLE: A lawsuit claims a member of the Cal Poly Alpha Gamma Rho chased a woman into a floor-to-ceding glass panel in the fraternity's house.
According to the lawsuit, the woman, identified as Morgan Brahms, was visiting the fraternity's house when an unidentified frat member allegedly began to chase her in an attempt to prevent her from leaving the residence. Brahms mistook the floor-to-ceiling panel of un-tempered glass located near an exit as a door and smashed
The lawsuit also alleged that the configuration of the glass and the door created a "trap-like" condition which made the pane of glass appear to be an open door, which the members of the house should have been aware of because they lived in the house and were familiar with the layout, unlike Brahms.
"Since she was being chased, her decision process was forcefully sped up, contributing to the accident," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages of more than $25,000, according to court records. New Times was unable to reach Brahms' attorney, Bradley Hill, for comment before the publication of this story.
In a written response to New Times, Alpha Gamma Rho characterized the lawsuit as meritless.
"The chapter has retained counsel and is defending this meritless lawsuit, but will not be making any further comments on this pending litigation," the statement read.
Both were scheduled to meet June 29 in court for a case management conference, according to court records.
The lawsuit continues to move through the legal process as Alpha Gamma Rho attempts to move on from the controversy generated by its 2017 end-of-the-year photo, which featured some members wearing culturally insensitive costumes while others held bottles of alcohol and firearms. Other members in the photo were holding a banner for President Donald Trump.
The fraternity eventually removed the photo from social media posts, and issued an apology to those offended by it, according to Cal Poly's student-run newspaper, Mustang News.
"Some representations depicted in the photograph were unacceptable because it appropriated cultural and ethnic identities of our peers," the apology statement read. "Although that was not our intention, we understand how this image has negatively impacted many students and people in the community."
The photo was yet another bump on a rocky road for the fraternity's Cal Poly chapter over the last few years. According to the university's website, Alpha Gamma Rho was placed on suspension though the Spring 2017 semester for violating Cal Poly's alcohol and drug policy. In 2015, Mustang News reported that the fraternity was placed on social probation for nearly an entire year in connection with a party where an alleged sexual assault was reported.