PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Permanently scarred by a flaming marshmallow hurled at her back, a woman who attended a debauched Halloween party hosted by Psi Upsilon has brought a federal complaint against the University of Pennsylvania fraternity.
Morgan & Morgan Philadelphia represents the Illinois woman behind the Sept. 19 lawsuit. The plaintiff will be referred to in this article only by her first name, Jessica, in light of the sensitive nature of the allegations.
She says Psi Upsilon rented out a special location for the Oct. 27, 2017, party Magic Gardens Halloween, and collected $60,000 in entrance fees.
At $60 a pop, according to the complaint, wristbands to the party entitled their bearers to four hours of unlimited alcohol, along with other entertainment including fire pits, pirates and a “deep house bus.”
The frat hired two security guards, per university policy, but Jessica says these guards were posted at the front gate with only one responsibility: “to ensure that nobody entered the property without a bracelet.”
Jessica says she was standing near a fire pit, wearing an open-back shirt, while the party was underway at about 11:30 p.m.
Nearby, one of the 1,000 fellow attendees was using a stick provided by the frat to roast a marshmallow.
Jessica says this other woman was “visibly drunk” and panicked when her marshmallow caught fire.
After the woman “started shaking her stick in hopes of extinguishing the flame,” Jessica says “the on-fire marshmallow flew off the stick, and stuck to the plaintiff’s back.”
The injury left Jessica with permanent scarring. She says it could have been prevented if the fraternity had hired security to man the fire pits or supervise its legion of intoxicated guests.
Jessica’s attorney Kevin Boylan declined to comment on the case, as did the executive director
of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life has not responded to a message requesting comment.