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Fraternity faces $25 million lawsuit over alleged Cornell hazing death

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity House
Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity House

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is facing a $25 million lawsuit after the death of a 19-year-old Cornell University student during an alleged alcohol-related hazing incident.

The family of George Desdunes filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against the national fraternity and its local chapter officers and members.

The 19-year-old, who was already a full member of the organization, was found unconscious on a couch at the Cornell fraternity in February and was later pronounced dead. His blood alcohol level was 0.35, according to authorities.

According to court documents Desdunes' hands and feet were bound and he had reportedly been compelled to drink alcohol as part of a mock kidnapping.

Cornell revoked the fraternity's recognition earlier this year after Desdunes' death.

Four fraternity pledges were arrested in the case in May, according to CBS affiliate WBNG.