Student sues KU fraternity after being injured at party

A Stilwell man injured this fall at a University of Kansas fraternity party is suing the fraternity and its chapter house association.

The suit alleges that Matt Fritzie was hurt in September when he was ordered to dive into a homemade swimming pool during Phi Gamma Delta's "Fiji Island" party.

Fritzie, a fraternity pledge, suffered "severe injuries, including permanent spine damage and paralysis," according to the lawsuit filed this week in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Although the incident occurred in Lawrence, the lawsuit was filed in Missouri because the fraternity conducts business there and the member of the chapter house association who focused on pledge treatment and education is based there, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that fraternity officials were aware of past problems related to the annual Fiji Island party, and national fraternity officials specifically prohibited the building of any pools or ponds.

Despite those rules, fraternity members ordered pledges to construct a pool in the fraternity's backyard using sandbags, according to the lawsuit.

Minors were allowed to consume alcohol during the Sept. 17 party, and a fraternity member ordered Fritzie to dive into the pool, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit does not specify an amount of damages being sought. Attorneys representing Fritzie did not return calls seeking comment.

The fraternity association member named in the lawsuit also did not respond to a request for comment.