The Delta Chi fraternity is facing a $28 million lawsuit from the family of a Virginia Commonwealth University student who died from alcohol poisoning in 2021 during a hazing incident.

The cousin of Adam Oakes, who was 19 years at the time of his death, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Monday against Delta Chi Fraternity Inc., Delta Chi Educational Foundation, and the VCU chapter of Delta Chi.

"We know that the filing of these lawsuits will not bring Adam back, but we are hopeful that by holding Delta Chi, the VCU chapter of Delta Chi, and each of the individual fraternity brothers accountable, it will send a message that echoes across America's national Greek organizations and college campuses that change is coming," the document stated.

After receiving a bid from the Delta Chi fraternity, Adam Oakes was tasked with drinking a large bottle of whiskey in February 2021.

The following morning, the pledge was found dead. The chief medical examiner listed alcohol poisoning as Adam Oakes' cause of death.

VCU expelled Delta Chi in June 2021, and six fraternity members were found guilty or pleaded guilty to misdemeanor hazing or providing alcohol to a minor.

The group of six did not serve jail time, and charges against five other members were dropped. However, all 11 members are listed in the new suit.

The Oakes' lawsuit against the Delta Chi fraternity comes after the family sued Virginia Commonwealth University in September 2022 and reached a settlement of almost $1 million.

Part of the agreement required VCU to make additional changes to the Greek life culture at the school.

​​"This is a blueprint to foster a safer and healthier community for students who are part of fraternities and sororities and to create a climate of respect and inclusion that is needed for academic success," VCU and the Oakes family said in a joint statement at the time.

Some modifications included prohibiting the presence of alcohol at events or activities hosted by sororities or fraternities that are attended by new members and stricter rules regarding consuming or serving alcohol.

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