Foltz family reaches $2.9 million settlement with BGSU over hazing death

Stone+Foltz+Memorial%2C+2021

Brionna Scebbi

Stone Foltz Memorial, 2021

Ryan Dick, News Content Director

The family of Bowling Green State University sophomore Stone Foltz has reached a $2.9 million settlement with the university.

It’s the largest payout by a public university in a hazing case in Ohio history, according to the Foltz family legal team.

The $2.9 million settlement is only part of a larger settlement the Foltz family is receiving over $7 million from Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and individual fraternity members who were involved in the hazing. The Foltz family will receive over $10 million in total settlements, according to the Associated Press.

There’s never going to be any closure, nothing is going to bring Stone back. That piece of our heart is never going to be filled again.”

— Stone's mother, Shari Foltz

Stone Foltz died of alcohol poisoning after a Pi Kappa Alpha hazing event off campus in March 2021. Prosecutors said pledges were told to drink an entire bottle of liquor.

Foltz’s family sued BGSU for alleged negligence, claiming the university violated Ohio’s Anti-hazing statute.

 

“The money has nothing, that means anything to us because it’s not going to bring Stone back,” Shari Foltz said. “But what it does allow is us to move forward and help us through the foundation.”

Since Foltz’s death, his family started the iamstonefoltz FOUNDATION.

The foundation focuses on maximizing the effort of giving back by aligning with organizations that do the same.

“I think that, hopefully, the message this sends is that universities need to do a much better job of proactively enforcing their policies. Getting into these houses, I personally believe if they eliminate pledge programs they will make life a lot easier for themselves,” Foltz family attorney, Rex Elliott said. 

According to a joint statement by the family and university, “The Foltz family and Bowling Green State University are forever impacted by the tragic death of Stone Foltz. This resolution keeps the Foltz family and BGSU community from reliving the tragedy for years to come in the courtroom and allows us to focus on furthering our shared mission of eradicating hazing in Ohio and across the nation. Leading these efforts in our communities is the real work that honors Stone.”

BGSU expelled the fraternity in 2021. Since Foltz’s death, state lawmakers passed Colin’s law that makes hazing a felony offense in Ohio.