4
| Courts |

Dude Says He Lost an Eye at University of Houston Frat Party

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

We've heard of drunken bros doing stupid, harmful stuff to each other, but the allegations in Brenton Griffin's lawsuit against the University of Houston's Sigma Phi Epsilon are a doozy: the 23-year-old says that he lost an eye at an SPE party in 2013, after he passed out and one of the fraternity members tried to kick a beer can off his head. And missed. While wearing boots.

Specifically, the lawsuit, filed last week and first reported by the Houston Chronicle , states that "fraternity members and other party guests were present" in a party at the fraternity's house when an SPE member propped an unconscious Griffin into an upright position, placed an aluminum beer can on top of his head, and then kicked Griffin in the right eye while attempting to kick the can. The eye had to be surgically removed, according to the suit, which names the fraternity and seven members as defendants. (Some of those members were also officers).

The part that threw us for a loop is the allegation that the Sigma Phi Epsilon organization itself is responsible because the frat "knew or should have known that...alcohol would be served at the party, that persons would become intoxicated at the party, and that said persons may take negligent actions which would cause injury to others." 

Well, duh. Isn't that why, in addition to vaguely homoerotic bonding rituals, dudes go to frat parties? Was Griffin expecting an alcohol-free Bible study, followed by a quiet game of pinochle? 

The suit also alleges that the members/officers "failed to keep a proper lookout for [Griffin's] safety," "knew or should have known that persons would be consuming alcohol," and "knew or should have known that proper safety policies did not exist within Sigma Phi Epsilon...for the protection of guests at parties." 

If Griffin really did lose an eye in that fashion, we feel terrible for him. But these characterizations of a fraternity, and its frat-bros, as paragons of safety and prudence seem kind of silly. We're curious to see how this one turns out. 

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.