Family sues Stanford, fraternity over son's fentanyl death | January 28, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 28, 2022

Family sues Stanford, fraternity over son's fentanyl death

Lawsuit points to 'a culture of drug and alcohol abuse' on campus

by Sue Dremann

The family of a Stanford University student who died from an accidental fentanyl overdose in January 2020 has filed a lawsuit against the university and against the fraternity to which he belonged, according to a Santa Clara County Superior Court document.

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Email Staff Writer Sue Dremann at [email protected]


Posted by Jon D
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 22, 2022 at 3:26 pm

Jon D is a registered user.

Wait…did I read that he OD’d…then went back to the SAME drug 2 days later and OD’d again? And that is somehow Stanford’s fault and/or the fraternity? No parent should bury a child, ever….this seems like the lawyers pursuing a cash grab. [Portion removed.]

Posted by Banes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 24, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Banes is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by M
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 24, 2022 at 1:12 pm

M is a registered user.

I feel horrible for these parents, but hope they find a better way to cope with their loss.

Posted by dontliveinCA
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2022 at 4:11 pm

dontliveinCA is a registered user.

Sorry, but this young man knowingly bought and took dangerous illegal drugs. He did so volutarily. I do not think Stanford is to blame.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 24, 2022 at 4:34 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

So do kids knowingly using false ids to buy booze and cigarettes but bars get penalized / lose their licenses for selling to minors and the city almost shut Mac's Smoke Shop down because some girl used a fake id and her mother got upset with Mac's, not with her daughter.

According to various articles, Stanford was aware of the fraternity's repeated violations, said they were going to shut them down if the violations continued which they did but instead of shutting it down, Stanford changed its mind.

I'm not taking sides here, just noting the double standard.

Posted by Colleen D.
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2022 at 6:01 pm

Colleen D. is a registered user.

My heart breaks for this family. The opioid/fentanyl epidemic has long tentacles that can reach you no matter where you are, even inside an esteemed private university like Stanford. Maybe the lawsuit will raise awareness and help prevent other tragic deaths, but the sad truth is no institution or parent can safeguard kids 100% of the time. Young people are going to experiment and hide that behavior from their parents and other trusted adults. I’m curious if the young man’s parents were aware of the first incident. The repetition of the the same dangerous behavior two days after the first overdose suggests a bigger problem. I’m sorry for their loss and their pain.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 24, 2022 at 7:02 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Again, not taking sides but Stanford has a history of sweeping rape under the rug. In addition the Brock Turner case, here's a report today from NPR about Elizabeth Holmes' rape at a Stanford fraternity. Web Link

"This fraternity house has had issues for years. In 2003, according to a "Stanford Report" Sigma Chi was cited for a history of conduct problems, failure to implement residential programming and "a lack of responsiveness" of house leadership in working with university officials, among other issues.

It is the same fraternity house where in 2018, seven Stanford students were suspected of being drugged by a non-Stanford student at a party. This prompted its suspension and a legal battle over the frat's future on campus."

Posted by dontliveinCA
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2022 at 5:01 pm

dontliveinCA is a registered user.

to Online Name: You believe Elizabeth Holmes? She is a convicted liar. That rape report was never verified....she has cried "rape" before. Also, the Brock Turner case was mainly a debacle because of the judge who sentenced him to only a few months....I believe the judge was demoted. Stanford expelled Turner. Stanford can't put him in jail. Again, this student knowingly paid for and took illegal drugs. His parents both work @ Stanford....they had no idea what was happening @ this fraternity? I feel sorry for them and mourn the loss of their son, but they are trying to blame other folks for their own son's mistakes.,,,and possibly theirs.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 28, 2022 at 8:00 am

Annette is a registered user.

I think it likely that the "yawning gap" paragraph is what this lawsuit is all about. If Stanford would do all that it reasonably can to achieve a healthier campus, tragedies like this one might be averted. Maybe this lawsuit will result in some badly needed changes.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 29, 2022 at 9:08 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@dontliveinCA, you ask "You believe Elizabeth Holmes? She is a convicted liar."

Absolutely not. Nope. That's why I was careful to say "not taking sides" when responding to someone above who said the only one to blame for the fentanyl death was the deceased and to quote only the portion about the fraternity that Stanford failed to discipline after repeated reported infractions.

Re Holmes, I'm offended by her playing "the mommy card" and all the recent articles in the SJ Merc and elsewhere about how 1) her being a mother will get her a light sentence, 2) the trauma of her being separate from her child as if she were the only mother facing jail terms, 3) the ridiculous article about her "stylish diaper bag" etc etc.

I hope the judge and the public won't be swayed by such transparent pr. And I hope all her traumatized victims who were given false diagnoses sue her for civil damages since she walked on those charges.

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