NORMAN, Okla. – A former student at the University of Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit against a fraternity and two of its members.
Blake Novacek was a student at the University of Oklahoma in 2015 and decided to pledge to the Gamma Phi Chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity during that time.
According to the court documents, Novacek says that pledges were required to memorize certain ‘pledge facts’ as part of the initiation and admission process.
The lawsuit alleges that on Oct. 11, 2015, all of the Beta Theta Pi pledges were called to the fraternity house. Once there, the pledges were blindfolded and taken to individual members’ rooms in the fraternity house.
Novacek claims that he was taken to Shane Muselmann’s room, who is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.
“Defendant Muselmann then began asking Plaintiff pledge facts, and when Plaintiff was unable to recite some facts correctly, Defendant Muselmann, who was heavily intoxicated, became enraged and negligently swung a baseball bat which came into contact with Plaintiff’s abdomen causing Plaintiff to fall backwards and strike his head on a hard object, knocking Plaintiff unconscious,” the lawsuit alleges.
Novacek says he awoke hours later on a couch in the fraternity house.
The lawsuit alleges that he was confronted by Gavin Martindale, who is also listed as a defendant in the case. Court documents claim that Martindale told Novacek “to keep his mouth shut about the hazing incident or else the fraternity would ruin Plaintiff’s and his family’s reputation, damage his property, and have him kicked out of school.”
Novacek claims that he suffered serious injuries as a result of the hazing incident.
The defendants spoke to the OU Daily, saying that they were shocked by the lawsuit and plan to fight against the allegations.
“I’m bewildered by this lawsuit,” Martindale said in an email to the OU Daily. “The allegations are entirely untrue, and I’m mystified why this person is making these claims against me. To be honest, I’m angry about this, and I will be hiring a lawyer to aggressively defend me against these baseless accusations.”
“This suit and these allegations came as a complete surprise to me,” Muselmann said in an email statement to the OU Daily. “The allegations against me are completely false, and I have no idea why they are being made. I intend to aggressively fight this suit and defend my reputation.”