Boston is home to many colleges and universities, and while perhaps not as common in the past, joining a fraternity or sorority is still a popular thing to do for many new students. Despite being illegal, fraternity and sorority hazing still happens all the time and sometimes it results in serious injury or even death as we have seen in some cases that made big headlines. Not only is this a crime and a basis for being expelled from school, it is also a basis for filing a personal injury lawsuit in some cases under various theories of liability including the Massachusetts dram shop statute and negligence.
Massachusetts Dram Shop Law
The dram shop law in our state is found in Chapter 138 of Section 69 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.). This statute states no alcoholic beverages can be sold or otherwise provided to anyone who is intoxicated. It is also illegal to serve anyone alcohol who is under the age of 21 and as we know, most fraternity and sorority pledges subjected to hazing are under the age of majority. It should also be noted forcing someone to drink massive amounts of alcohol counts as delivery of alcohol under the Massachusetts dram shop law. Continue reading