Family awarded settlement in WVU fraternity death case

MORGANTOWN – The family of a West Virginia University fraternity pledge who died in 2014 were awarded an undisclosed settlement.

A judge approved the settlement at a Jan. 17 court hearing. The amount was under court seal.

Nolan Burch died in November 2014, when he was the victim of fraternity hazing at WVU’s Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s local chapter, Gamma Phi.

The parents claim Nolan Burch was required to attend a “Big/Little” ceremony held at Gamma Phi on Nov. 12, 2014, where members of the fraternity negligently, carelessly and recklessly endangered his health and safety by pressuring him to drink excessive amounts of alcohol in order to be accepted admission into the fraternity.

Burch died a few days after the event, after being taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital. His blood alcohol content was .493.

The Burches were represented by William C. Brewer and J. Tyler Slavey of Brewer & Giggenbach PLLC; Terrence M. Connors, Lawlor F. Quinlan III and Pail A. Woodard of Connors LLP.

The defendants were represented by G. Thomas Smith of Smith McMunn & Glover; Patrick J. Nooney; Stephen M. LaCagnin and Wendy G. Adkins of Jackson Kelly PLLC; Shannon P. Smith and Teresa Dumire of Kay Casto & Chaney PLLC; and Lance E. Rollo.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 15-C-638

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