A Louisiana jury has awarded $6.1 million to the grieving parents of a college student who died following an alcohol-related hazing incident in 2017, according to multiple reports.
Rae Ann and Stephen Gruver have been staunch in their efforts to prevent hazing in the wake of the 2017 death of their son, Louisiana State University student Max Gruver.
On Wednesday, a jury in Baton Rouge awarded the parents $6.1 million in connection with the tragedy, local newspaper The Advocate reported.
“This definitely sends a message to would-be hazers across the country to take pause and think about what you’re doing,” Stephen Gruver said after the verdict was announced. “Think about the dangers of hazing, think about how it can harm people and how you’ll be held accountable.”
The family was seeking $25 million.
Max Gruver died on Sept. 14, 2017, from aspiration and alcohol poisoning, according to the report. The 18-year-old journalism student was pledging Phi Delta Theta fraternity at the time.
Hours earlier, Gruver had endured a hazing ritual known as “Bible Study,” in which elder members pestered them with questions about the frat and ordered them to drink alcohol when they gave the wrong answers, according to the report.
At the time of his death, Gruver’s blood-alcohol concentration was reportedly over six times the state’s legal limit, at 0.495.
The Gruver family sued the university, the fraternity and several members, and had reached settled with all parties but one — a former student — prior to the trial, The Advocate reported. Previous settlements reportedly include one with LSU in the amount of $875,000.
Spokespersons for LSU and Phi Delta Theta did not immediately respond to The Post’s requests for comment Monday morning.
After their son’s death, Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver created the Max Gruver Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to ending hazing on college campuses.
They had been involved in efforts toward “anti-hazing education” at the high school level, as well as the state’s END ALL Hazing Act, which would create reporting requirements for all colleges and universities that receive federal student aid.