The parents of a Fresno State student who died in an alcohol-fueled hazing incident have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a national fraternity, its local chapter and six of its members.
Paul and Diane Dhanens are the parents of Philip Dhanens, 18, who died from alcohol poisoning during a party at the Theta Chi fraternity in August 2012. Last week the Fresno County District Attorney filed misdemeanor hazing charges against three members of the fraternity.
Philip Dhanens was a freshman pledge of the fraternity. He died with a blood alcohol level of .38 — nearly five times the legal limit to drive in California — during Theta Chi's "Bid Night" for prospective new members. According to the lawsuit, fraternity officers locked pledges in a room with fatal quantities of alcohol and chanted "Theta Chi" as pledges followed instructions to drink all of the alcohol.
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