HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point University has denied allegations in a wrongful-death and negligence lawsuit filed by the family of a former student and is asking a judge to dismiss the case, according to the High Point Enterprise.
HPU and its director of security, Jeff Karpovich, call the accusations made by the estate of Robert Eugene Tipton Jr. “irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and/or scandalous.”
The Memphis, Tenn. native and former junior at High Point University died on March 26, 2012. He tried pledging Delta Sigma Phi in the spring of 2012.
Tipton’s mother, Deborah Tipton, alleges her son’s 2012 death at an off-campus apartment was the result of being “violently assaulted and battered” in a fraternity hazing incident.
A state medical examiner ruled the junior died from an overdose of prescription drugs.
The student’s mother hired a forensic pathologist who sought to refute this and claimed that her son died after suffering blunt force trauma to the head.
“It is expressly denied that Tipton’s death resulted from assault and battery, including blunt force trauma of Tipton’s head, as such allegations are contrary to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s report that the cause of Tipton’s death was oxymorphone poisoning,” the defendants’ attorney, Mel J. Garofalo of Charlotte, wrote in his May 7 answer to the suit.
According to the suit, Tipton was allegedly told to attend a “counseling session” at the apartment of fraternity member Marshall Jefferson on March 25.
Jefferson is accused of violently assaulting and battering Tipton, who suffered blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in his death, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleges that the son of university president Nido Qubein was among the instigators of the alleged hazing.
Read more: High Point Enterprise