Danny Santulli University of Missouri student left brain damaged, blind and unable to walk in frat hazing episode as underage drinking charges are now applied to case following settlement of lawsuit.
Danny Santulli, 19, a freshman at the University of Missouri student, suffered alcohol poisoning at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on university campus, known as Fiji, on October 19.
The student who had been one of several prospective frat members that evening, was found unresponsive and in cardiac arrest inside a car after frat members dropped him off at University Hospital.
The near death episode led to Santulli spending months at a Colorado rehabilitation hospital, and now back in the care of his parents in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, with the student’s mother forced to quit her high paying banking job to become his full time carer.
Santulli’s parents filed a suit against the fraternity along with his pledge class after pledge seniors forced him to drink the hard liquor.
Fraternity brothers added to amended petition
Now, eight months after the incident, the teenager is back home while his condition has yet to change, attorney David Bianchi said.
He told the Columbia Tribune: ‘He has massive brain damage. He’s blind. He’s unable to walk or communicate’.
To date, the parents have settled with all 23 defendants and the fraternity, which has now been banned from campus for repeated violations.
Come Monday, Bianchi sought to add fraternity brothers Samuel Gandhi and Alec Wetzler in an amended petition, which was approved by Judge Joshua Devine.
The petition alleges Wetzler put a tube into Santulli’s mouth and poured beer down his throat, coercing him to drink an excessive amount of alcohol.
Gandhi then walked away from Santulli after initially trying to assist him when it was clear that the freshman was dangerously intoxicated, Bianchi claims.
He walked into the room at 12.17am and saw Santulli had not moved from where he left him, the lawsuit alleges.
Prosecutors charge former MU frat member Alex Wetzler with 2 under age drinking misdemeanors instead of a felony hazing charge for his involvement with the hospitalization of Danny Santulli who remains unresponsive with massive brain damage and blindness. @KRCG13 pic.twitter.com/G4DxIe7mx6
— Mark Slavit (@MSlavitKRCG13) June 3, 2022
Betrayed by fraternity student sought to become member of
The 19-year-old’s blood-alcohol content was 0.486 percent, more than six times the legal limit for driving.
Santulli was later driven to MU Hospital in one of the fraternity brother’s cars, only to have a cardiac arrest.
Hospital staff performed CPR and restarted Santulli’s heart but he was still ‘unresponsive, unaware of his surroundings, unable to communicate and (with) a significant injury to his brain’.
Charges were also filed against Wetzler for misdemeanour counts of supplying alcohol to a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor.
Fraternity member Ryan Delanty had been designated Santulli’s ‘pledge dad’ at the hazing.
He allegedly sent a text to a friend at 10.57pm to a friend saying: ‘My son is dead.’
The friend replied asking what had happened and Delanty answered: ‘I left him’.
Wetzler’s initial court appearance for the underage drinking charges is scheduled for July 5.