Indianapolis-based fraternity sued over fire

August 24, 2007
Indianapolis-based Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity has been sued by the family of a University of Mississippi student who died in a 2004 fire at its Ole Miss fraternity house.

The lawsuit alleges the fraternity refused to sponsor a safety program following the fire, according to The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss.

Wynn Smiley, CEO of the national chapter based at 1 North Pennsylvania St., denied the allegation. Smiley told the newspaper that the proposed safety program was not the emphasis of a meeting he had with the attorney for the family of Jordan Williams, of Atlanta, one of the students killed in the fraternity house fire.

Two other students were killed.

Unspecified damages are sought against the Indianapolis national headquarters and the Mississippi chapter.

Fire investigators ruled out foul play in the fire, which resulted in a Mississippi state rule that all fraternity and sorority houses built after 2005 have sprinkler systems.
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