UT student death lawsuit over

July 15, 2008 11:15:13 AM PDT
The lawsuit connected to a college freshman's alcohol related death is over.The University of Texas student died after drinking too much. His family claims it was part of fraternity hazing. That teen, from Houston, died more than two years ago. Since then, the civil case has been locked up in court.

Jack Phoummarath's sister and the Phoummarath family attorney confirmed they have a reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit. UT freshman Jack Phoummarath died December 10th, 2005 at the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity house near the UT campus in Austin. He had a .50 blood alcohol level, more than six times the legal limit of intoxication.

It was a binge drinking episode that took the life of the 18-year-old. Now more than two years later, the family's wishes that his death would not be in vain have been answered in the form of a settled lawsuit.

An autopsy shows Phoummarath drank all night during a fraternity party the night before he was to officially become a member of Lambda Phi Epsilon. He died alone in a room. His body was not discovered until the next day.

The family sued the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity's national and UT chapters along with more than 40 current and former frat members. Eyewitness News spoke with Phoummarath's sister when the lawsuit was filed.

"The most important reason for the family wanting to do this is to prevent this from ever happening again to any other student," she told us. "We don't want any other family to have to go through what we've had to go through."

The family is holding a news conference Tuesday to disclose the details of the settlement. Eyewitness News will be on hand to cover the event and bring you the latest information.

Three former leaders of the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity did plead "no contest" to hazing charges connected with Jack Phoummarath's death. The judge sentenced the three young men to two years probation and community service. They were also ordered to apologize to Phoummarath's family and take part in a video about the dangers of hazing.

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