HIGH POINT — The family of a deceased High Point University student has re-filed a lawsuit in Guilford County Superior Court alleging he died as a result of fraternity hazing.
The family of a student who died after what it alleges was fraternity hazing at High Point University has appealed a superior court judge’s decision to dismiss the case against the university.
Robert Eugene Tipton Jr., 22, was found unresponsive in an off-campus apartment on March 26, 2012, and pronounced dead later that day at High Point Regional Hospital.
He was pledging Delta Sigma Phi at the time.
The fraternity is a defendant in the suit along with the university, university President Nido Qubein, his son and Delta Sigma Phi member Michael Qubein and fraternity brother Marshall Jefferson.
A state medical examiner ruled oxymorphone poisoning as the cause of Tipton’s death. No criminal charges were filed.
HIGH POINT (AP) — A lawsuit stemming from the death of a former High Point University studen…
The lawsuit alleges Tipton was “violently” assaulted and battered by Jefferson during a fraternity “counseling session,” and suffered blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in his death.
The suit also alleges Michael Qubein was among those who perpetrated hazing in the fraternity, and that he deleted text messages from Tipton’s phone after his death.
John Spainhour, Michael Qubein’s attorney, said Thursday his client remains “saddened by the loss of his friend.” He also said he has “every expectation” the court would find in his client’s favor.
Judge Susan Bray allowed a civil suit to continue against Michael Qubein, the son of university President Nido Qubein.
Tipton’s family originally filed a lawsuit last year, but in August asked for it to be dismissed so they could appeal a judge’s earlier ruling removing High Point University and the school’s security director Jeffrey Karpovich as defendants.
The suit had to be dismissed for the family to be able to pursue an appeal.
High Point University released a statement on Thursday calling the latest suit “a continuation of unfounded and unmerited accusations.”
“We are disappointed that the trial court’s dismissal of the original claims against HPU did not end (Tipton’s mother’s) attempts to bring factually and legally baseless accusations against HPU, its employees, administration, and students,” the statement read. “Contrary to the allegations in the new lawsuit, we take the safety of our students very seriously and we focus on providing a safe and secure learning environment. Robert Tipton’s death three years ago was tragic, and we continue to mourn his loss.”
The family of a High Point University student who died in an alleged hazing incident appeals dismissal of lawsuit.
The Tipton family’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
The original suit accused the university of wrongful death and civil conspiracy. However, the appeal regarding those particular charges is still winding its way through the court system. The latest suit accuses the university of fraud.
The suit contends in part that the school was aware of “outrageous conduct” by the fraternity and misrepresented itself in promotional materials by excluding “information about the frequency or incidence of hazing, violence, injuries, substance abuse, and/or other dangerous and/or illegal activities at HPU or within Delta Sigma Phi.”