ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany and the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity commenting today after a local man filed a notice of intent against the school.
The State Attorney General’s Office confirmed Thursday that it received a notice of intent on December 12 from the family of Trevor Duffy.
Duffy died on November 16 when police said he was taken to the hospital after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol at a party. Duffy was a sophomore at the time of his death.
The claim was filed by Duffy’s father, Stephen Duffy. He did not want to comment on the potential lawsuit, but the claim states he believed his son suffered for hours and was pushed to drink heavily by a recognized Jewish fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, at the school.
The University at Albany and the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity both state that neither the school nor the frat recognize or associate with the students allegedly involved in an underground frat that hosted a party where the teen drank excessively and later died.
The claim says UAlbany was negligent and failed to protect students from the frat, but a statement released on Friday from the international Zeta Beta Tau says:
“Campus representatives notified the Fraternity that a group of students claiming to operate as Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity was involved in the incident.”
Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity says it’s investigating the alleged illegal use of their name.
“The Fraternity is presently evaluating its legal claims against the men involved in this tragic incident for their unauthorized use of the Zeta Beta Tau and ZBT names,” said the statement.
UAlbany also says it does not recognize this group, allegedly claiming to be Zeta Beta Tau. Local Attorney Terry Kindlon doesn’t believe the University can be held responsible, regardless of what Trevor Duffy’s father, Stephen Duffy claims in the notice of intent to file suit against UAlbany.
“To say that an underground fraternity, which are forbidden by the State University, that the University is somehow responsible for the actions of members of an underground fraternity I think that is doomed to failure,” said Kindlon.
UAlbany would not comment on the notice of intent, but did say that they do not recognize the alleged underground frat.