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South Carolina fraternity party may lead to wrongful death claim

Anyone who has been to a fraternity party knows that they tend to be strikingly similar. Alcohol and loud music can be found in abundance. Unfortunately, college students who are under the influence of large amounts of alcohol may sometimes react unpredictably. In what could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina, a marine recently lost his life in an altercation that began at a fraternity party.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of a Sunday in February. Reports indicate that a 19-year-old college student was attending a fraternity party. For reasons not entirely clear, the teenager and his two friends were asked to leave the party. While outside, the group was asked once again to leave by a 22-year-old Marine and members of the fraternity. Witnesses report that the student then head-butted the Marine in the face.

The three men reportedly got in a car, where they claim they were surrounded by the Marine and members of the fraternity. The driver apparently left the car, and the student climbed into the driver's seat. Officials claim the driver struck the Marine with the car, leaving him on the hood of the car. Those at the scene claim the car reached speeds of over 50 mph before slamming into a tree and killing the Marine. The driver has since been charged with driving while intoxicated and a felony related to the tragic death.

It is difficult for a family anytime they lose a loved one, but the loss of a young life in such a senseless manner often seems even more tragic. While this victim's family will have to cope with the loss of their loved one, they will also have to manage the financial implications of his death. If they can prove that the death was caused by the negligence of the driver, they have the option of filing a wrongful death case in a South Carolina civil court. If they successfully argue their case, the court could award them with damages related to the man's death as allowed under state law.

Source:, Teen charged with Marine's death, Sarah Murphy, Feb. 20, 2014

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South Carolina fraternity party may lead to wrongful death claim | Britton Law, P.A.