Hazing News

Insurance company sues three PSU Betas: including Gary DiBileo II

Insurance company seeks to deny coverage in hazing death

Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA)

Jun. 14–An insurance company contends it is not responsible to defend or pay any damages in a lawsuit filed against several Lackawanna County men in connection with the 2017 hazing death of a Pennsylvania State University student.

Attorneys for Nationwide Insurance filed suit in federal court against Gary DiBileo II,Jerald Coyne and Jonathan Martines, former members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

DiBileo, 23, 302 S. Main St., Scranton, is among 18 former fraternity members charged in connection with the Feb. 4, 2017death of Timothy Piazza. Piazza, 19, died from injuries suffered in a fall during an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual.

DiBileo, the son of Lackawanna County controller Gary DiBileo, plead guilty in December in Centre County Court to six counts of hazing and one count of conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.

Piazza’s parents, James and Evelyn Piazza, filed a federal lawsuit in February against DiBileo, Coyne, Martines and multiple other fraternity members, alleging their negligence caused their son’s death. The suit alleges Coyne, 1105 St. Ann St., Scranton, and Martines, 106 Healey Road, Greenfield Twp., took part in the hazing. Neither man was charged criminally.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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