Parents of former Drexel student file suit against two fraternities

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The parents of a former Drexel University student are taking legal action, years after their son was severely injured in a fight. Now two fraternities, and some local students, are facing serious accusations.

At a news conference Thursday, Roderick and Liz McGibbon of Narberth tearfully detailed their 23-year-old son Ian's recovery from a devastating brain injury in September 2015.

"Before the accident, Ian was a good kid, full of fun," said Liz McGibbon.

During an altercation at 32nd and Powelon, the then junior business major was punched and hit his head on cement, knocking him unconscious.

Campus surveillance video shows two of McGibbon's Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers carrying him to the frat house two blocks away.

Family attorney Bob Mongeluzzi says he was placed in the care of a 21-year-old risk manager who chose not to call 911 for nearly 10 hours.

"Hour after hour his brain continued to swell as he lay abandoned in his fraternity until his family found him covered in vomit and blood and unconscious," Mongeluzzi stated.

A 14-count civil lawsuit filed Thursday alleges neglect by five students and two fraternities.

The case has similarities to the criminal case against 16 members of a Penn State fraternity for the death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza. The New Jersey teen died of traumatic brain injuries after his brothers failed to call 911 for 12 hours.

"When will it end? And how will it stop? And how will the frat system change to prevent this from ever happening again," questioned Mongeluzzi.

In a statement, Drexel University, which isn't named in the suit, says it provides complete amnesty from disciplinary action for students who report to the proper authorities for the intention of seeking medical or safety assistance for anyone in need.

McGibbon's parents say had someone reported their son's injuries immediately, their son would likely have avoided permanent brain damage and likely would have graduated this past spring.

"He should be out getting his career started and instead he's got mom and dad helping put his clothes on and tie his shoes," stated Ian's father, Roderick McGibbon.

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