Family of VCU hazing victim files $28 million lawsuit against fraternity

19-year-old Adam Oakes died of alcohol poisoning in Feb. 2021 at a Delta Chi initiation party, officials say

RICHMOND, Va. – The family of a Virginia Commonwealth University hazing victim has filed a $28 million lawsuit against Delta Chi, according to the Richmond-Times Dispatch.

The former VCU student, 19-year-old Adam Oakes, died of alcohol poisoning in Feb. 2021 after he was told to drink a large bottle of whiskey at a Delta Chi initiation party, according to previous reporting.

[READ MORE: Adam Oakes tragedy inspires anti-hazing presentation]

On Monday, Courtney White, Oakes’ cousin, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Richmond Circuit Court, with Delta Chi Fraternity Inc., Delta Chi Educational Foundation and the VCU chapter of Delta Chi listed as the defendants in the suit.

This comes after VCU reached a settlement with the young man’s family in Sept. 2022 and agreed to pay them nearly $1 million and make appropriate changes to fraternity and sorority life following the tragedy. The local Delta Chi chapter was permanently disbanded as well.

Six of the 11 former Delta Chi members charged in connection with Oakes’ death were found guilty or pleaded guilty to misdemeanor hazing or providing alcohol to a minor.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.