The family of Eloi Vasquez, a soccer player at UC Berkeley who died last March after a car accident on the 10 Freeway, filed a lawsuit last Wednesday against USC as well as the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity for wrongful death and negligence.
Vasquez died in March 2015 at the age of 19 while visiting friends at USC. He was hit by a car as he tried to cross a freeway exit off of the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles on his way to the beach. The accident happened around 2:25 a.m., less than an hour after Vasquez left a party hosted by TKE.
In the lawsuit, Vasquez’s parents accuse the national board of the fraternity, USC and other individuals of knowingly serving Vasquez alcohol despite the fact that he was underage. Additionally, the plaintiffs blamed the fraternity for allowing Vasquez to leave the party by himself even though it was apparent that he was intoxicated.
Vasquez’s parents are hoping to be awarded monetary and punitive damages from Vasquez’s death due to wrongful death and negligence on the part of all of the defendants. Some of the damages that they are seeking include the reimbursements for the funeral and medical treatment as well as compensation for the loss of love, companionship and comfort, according to a report from The Daily Californian.
The national and chapter board of TKE did not respond to requests for comment. The Department of Media Relations also declined to comment, stating that USC does not comment on pending litigation.
Vasquez was a freshman at UC Berkeley and a member of the men’s soccer team, where he played 12 games as a freshman and was known for his hard work as a midfielder. Kevin Grimes, the UC Berkeley’s men’s head coach, lauded Vasquez’s dedication both during and after practice. Vasquez’s mother echoed the praise by saying that though Vasquez was her child, he often gave her advice and supported her, according to The Daily Californian.
As of now, the lawsuit demands a trial by jury by July 27, 2017. It is expected to last 21 days.