Thursday, September 24, 2009

Settlement in the DeVercelly Case

Rider University has settled a lawsuit with the family of Gary DeVercelly, a Rider freshman who died in March of 2007 from alcohol poisoning after binge drinking at a fraternity event.

The event led to charges being brought against Rider Dean of Students Anthony Campbell; the school's director of Greek life, Ada Badgley; and three students. While the charges against the university administrators were dropped, two of the three students settled through a pre-trial intervention program and the third, Michael Torney, president of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity where DeVercelly was found passed out after after drinking nearly two-thirds of a bottle of vodka, was sentenced to three years probation.

In the settlement, Rider agreed to ban alcohol in dorms as well as sorority, and fraternity parties; increase punishments for hazing and drinking; and inform parents of violations. Neither the university nor the DeVercelly family released information about financial terms.