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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Family of KU student who died wins settlement

By Mara Rose Williams
Kansas City Star

The family of a University of Kansas student who died after a night of binge drinking at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house has won a settlement against the fraternity.

Jason Wren, 19, of Colorado, was found dead in his bed March 8, 2009. An autopsy found alcohol poisoning.

At the time of the teenager's death, his father, Jay Wren, said his underage son began drinking pitchers of margaritas at dinner with friends and later continued drinking beer and whiskey into the morning hours at the Lawrence fraternity house.

Wren's attorney, Steve Grony, speaking last January when the lawsuit was filed, said the suit claimed at least 10 people who had some responsibility for Jason Wren were aware of fraternity rules against underage drinking, but "served him alcohol and failed to assist him with medical attention even after it was clear that he needed medical attention."

The suit named the SAE fraternal association; the Kansas Alpha Chapter in Lawrence; the Kansas Alpha House Corp., which owns the house at 1301 W. Campus Road; four Kansas Alpha officers; and unnamed persons who lived in the house at the time.

A statement from Wren's attorney Wednesday did not reveal any details, including settlement amount.

The settlement comes just six days before the KU campus hosts its annual Jason Wren Initiative: Underage Drinking Educational Seminar being held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Budig Auditorium.

KU sororities and fraternities, including members of SAE, started the initiative to educate students about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

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