594 A2.d 506 Furek v. University of Delaware
This is an appeal from a decision of the Superior Court that granted judgment notwithstanding the verdict, thus invalidating a jury award of damages, in an action brought by a student for injuries sustained in a fraternity hazing incident at the University of Delaware. The plaintiff below-appellant, Jeffrey V. Furek (“Furek”), had sought damages against the fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon (“Sig Ep”), its national affiliate, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, a Virginia corporation (the “National Fraternity”), the University of Delaware (the “University”) and a fellow student Joseph Donchez (“Donchez”). During trial, the complaint was dismissed as to Sig Ep on jurisdictional grounds. After trial, a jury awarded damages in the amount of $30,000.00, apportioned on the basis of ninety-three percent liability to the University and seven percent to Donchez with no finding of liability as to the National Fraternity. In a post-trial ruling, the Superior Court granted a motion for judgment n.o.v. in favor of the University leaving Donchez liable for the entire judgment. Furek appeals from that decision as well as from rulings dismissing Sig Ep and denying punitive damages. Furek also challenges the jury’s verdict regarding the National Fraternity. The University cross-appeals from the trial court’s denial of motions for a directed verdict as to its defenses of contributory negligence and assumption of risk. We affirm the rulings concerning the local and national fraternity but reverse the grant of judgment n.o.v. as to the University.
Furek v. University of Delaware. 1991. 594 A. 2d 506 (Del. 1991).