Woman Sues USC Frat After Drone Falls On Her Head During Party
A woman is suing the USC chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and an event planning company called Perfect Event Inc., alleging that a drone had fallen on her head during a 2015 party hosted by the frat, reports the Daily Trojan.
Alina Pituch, who according to a 2015 Daily Trojan article is not a student at USC, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday. The suit pertains to a Pi Kappa Phi "Glow Party" that happened on October 3, 2015 in the frat house's backyard. The plaintiff claims that, within 20 minutes of arriving at the party, a "heavy object" fell on her head and cause her to bleed "vigorously." She alleges that she sustained injuries to the back of her head, as well as her left eye, and that she became disoriented immediately after the incident. She was later taken to a hospital by an ambulance, reports City Service News. The suit claims that Pituch had suffered permanent scarring.
Pituch and her lawyers claim that Perfect Event Inc. had been hired to coordinate the event, and to employ someone to pilot a drone that was taking pictures of the party. She is suing both Pi Kappa Phi and Perfect Event Inc. for negligence and premises liability. The university is not named in the suit.
A representative of Pi Kappa Phi wrote to LAist saying that the frat's policy is to not comment on pending litigation. A spokesperson for Perfect Event Inc. said that the company has no comment on the matter.
According to University policy, drones are generally prohibited on campus (the Pi Kappa Phi house is about three blocks away from the main campus) and at USC-affiliated events. Per the University's website:
Due to potential risks to safety, security and privacy, USC generally prohibits operations of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS; commonly known as a drone) on or above USC property or in connection with a USC-sanctioned or affiliated event or activity, including commercial, recreational, hobbyist, or other uses.
There are some exceptions, however. USC has a UAS Review Board (yes, it exists—welcome to 2016) that mulls over proposals for drone-usage and decides whether or not it should be allowed. LAist called Administrative Operations to ask if the Glow Party was considered an USC-affiliate event, and, if so, if the drone that was allegedly used at the event had been approved by the board. No one was immediately available for comment.