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Roswell family files $25M suit over son’s suspected hazing death at LSU

The family of a Roswell college student who was killed during a suspected hazing incident at Louisiana State University filed a $25 million federal lawsuit Thursday against the school, fraternity and several fraternity members, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Maxwell Gruver, 18, died of alcohol poisoning during an alleged hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house in September 2017, AJC.com previously reported. At the time of his death, Gruver had an alcohol level of .495 percent — more than six times the legal limit for drivers.

A grand jury indicted four fraternity members in connection with the incident. And the fraternity’s national office removed the LSU chapter’s charter.

MORE: 4 plead not guilty in suspected hazing death of LSU freshman from Roswell

Steve Gruver (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

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Steve Gruver, Maxwell’s father, told Channel 2 the lawsuit is necessary to prevent hazing incidents such as the one he said killed his son.

“We are on a mission to educate the world, or the county, on hazing — how to prevent it,” Gruver told the news station. “How to understand what it is and to eliminate it.”

RELATED: Hazing death of Roswell teen leads to tougher laws. Should colleges ban frats?

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard III responded to the lawsuit in an emailed statement to AJC.com. 

“The loss of Maxwell Gruver was a tragedy for the Gruver family and the entire LSU community,” he said. “Since Max’s untimely death, LSU has worked to develop and implement new policies and practices to better protect all of our students. We are now implementing those changes and are working to educate each and every one of our Greek leaders, Greek students and others involved in student organizations. LSU supported the Gruver’s efforts to criminalize hazing and ensure that there were harsher penalties for hazing in Louisiana. Our Greek Life Task Force and Implementation Committee have put new measures in place for the start of the fall semester.”

CONTINUED COVERAGE: LSU fraternity loses charter after death of Roswell freshman Max Gruver

Phi Delta Theta posted a statement online that said an ongoing review has resulted in new programs and policies.

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Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez reports.

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