Roderick and Elizabeth McGibbon are suing two Drexel University fraternities and a local university bar for their son’s severe brain injury. McGibbon’s injury was sustained after he was punched during an altercation where no one called 911 for 10 hours.
The McGibbons say their 23-year-old sold Ian, who has had four surgeries, cannot remember things, walks with a brace, cannot use of his left arm, and quickly tires due to the injuries he received as a result of the altercation.
While Drexel University police investigated the altercation, no one was charged. Similarly, the university is not named in the lawsuit, though the two fraternities to which the members belong are.
The attorney for the McGibbons, Robert J. Mongeluzzi, said lack of police charges doesn’t excuse the behavior because “that is what juries are for.”
The Drexel incident occurred early on Sept. 12, 2015, between 32nd and 33rd Streets on Powelton Avenue when McGibbon and two fellow members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity were on their way home from a bar. They got into an altercation with members of another fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. Mongeluzzi acknowledged that versions of what spurred and happened during the altercation differ.
At some point during the fight, McGibbon was punched, fell, and struck his head on the cement, rendering him unconscious, Mongeluzzi said. Fraternity members helped him back to the house – lawyers showed video of McGibbon being held up by two men as he walked down the street. He was placed on a couch, the lawyer said. The fraternity’s “risk manager” monitored him for several hours until 6 a.m., then went to sleep, the attorney said.
The incident is similar to that of Timothy Piazza.
Piazza, 19, was a 2015 graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Readington Township who died after suffering a fall at the Beta Theta Pi house. Emergency services were not contacted until nearly 12 hours after the student fell down the steps at the fraternity house. Piazza was flown to the Hershey Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.