Civil Lawsuits Likely In Death At Murray State Fraternity House

Nov 16, 2018

Civil lawsuits are ‘likely’ to come in the case involving an off-campus fraternity house death at Murray State University earlier this year. 

That’s according to David Oakes- an attorney representing the family of 19-year-old Zach Wardrip of Indiana.

Calloway County Coroner Ricky Garland said Wardrip died from ethanol intoxication at an apartment on the Lambda Chi Alpha property in April. Garland said that Wardrip’s death was an accident.

The Murray Ledger and Times reports that a grand jury found no criminal liability in the case. Wardrip was not a Murray State student.

Oakes said the civil lawsuits could take place between “one or more individuals and corporate entities because of their contributions to what happened.”

Murray State suspended all Greek Life social events in May following Wardrip’s death and an alleged sexual assault at another fraternity party around the same time. The university lifted the suspension in August.

In responding to the latest involving this case, Murray State Director of Communication Shawn Touney sent the following statement: "Our campus community was heartbroken to learn of the tragic passing of Zach Wardrip this past spring. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Zach’s family, friends and our entire community during this difficult time." 

This story has been updated to include a statement from Murray State University.