Nearly 100 past and present members of a Yale University fraternity have been slapped with two lawsuits for a fatal 2011 accident involving a truck headed for a frat tailgate party.
The lawsuits involve members of Sigma Phi Epsilon. The accident happened at the Yale-Harvard football game when a member of the fraternity, Brendan Ross, drove a U-Haul box truck into a tailgating parking lot outside the New Haven, Conn., school’s Yale Bowl stadium, hitting several people.
Nancy Barry, 30, of Salem, Mass., was killed, and two other women were injured.
Ross, who claims he accidentally hit the gas pedal, passed a field sobriety test and later entered a probation program that erased the criminal charges against him.
Initial lawsuits on behalf of two victims named the national chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Yale, U-Haul and others. Those suits are still pending.
But last month, the national fraternity and its insurer claimed they were not liable for the actions of its local chapter. They argued that Ross was not acting as an agent or representative for the fraternity.
Consequently, the new lawsuits, each naming 86 individuals, were filed.
“They’re facing lawsuit simply because the national organization failed to take reasonable steps to create a reasonable structure to protect them,” Paul Edwards, the lawyer for Barry’s estate, told ABC News. “No amount of money will bring Nancy back. We’re looking to hold people accountable and effect changes so mistakes like this will never happen again.”
Edwards said the lawsuits are seeking a total of more than $1 million. Both U-Haul and Yale had no comment regarding the recent lawsuits. Since the accident, the university has banned kegs and oversized vehicles at campus events.
An official of the fraternity told GMA the frat is trying to help those individuals to make sure they have representation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.