Insurance firm chimes in on fraternity hazing case
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org June 13, 2013 6:12PM
Updated: July 15, 2013 7:55PM
A fraternity hazing case at Calumet College of St. Joseph that left a local man in the hospital has grown from criminal charges to a lawsuit against the university and now a lawsuit against the fraternity by its insurance company.
Admiralty Insurance Co. has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Hammond seeking to protect itself from having to pay for damages possibly found against Kappa Alpha Psi.
Carmelo Gonzalez, a Munster resident, is suing the fraternity and the university after he was injured during hazing at a Kappa Alpha Psi pledge party in February 2012.
According to the lawsuits, Gonzalez started pledging for Kappa in January 2012 and paid $2,000 to do so.
He and other recruits would attend pledge parties at the Gary residence of K.C. Thompson. At one party on Feb. 24, 2012, Thomas E. Beck III of Cook County, Ill., and Dominique Howard of Crown Point beat Gonzalez on the head with a board so hard he suffered bleeding in the brain and spent several days in the hospital.
Beck and Howard both faces charges of battery and criminal mischief in Lake County, and a jury trial is scheduled for October.
Admiralty’s lawsuit says Kappa has expelled both Beck, who was known as the “dean” during pledging, and Howard from the fraternity and claims Thompson was never in the fraternity. The insurance company says its policy with the fraternity does not cover acts that it or members knew would cause damage.
Gonzalez claims in his lawsuit, which also names the three men as defendants, that the university and fraternity had oversight over the beating and should have stopped it.