By the Daily Post staff
“In the early morning hours of Jan. 17, 2020, 19-year-old Eitan Michael Weiner died alone in a bathroom stall at the Theta Delta Chi (“TDX”) fraternity house on the Stanford campus,” the lawsuit begins. “Although Eitan’s body lay just a few feet away, not one of his roommates, let alone anyone else in this busy house, sounded an alarm.
“A janitor would eventually find Eitan’s body later that morning when she went inside to clean the bathroom. Sadly, this tragedy — which was years in the making — could have been prevented.”
And so begins a Santa Clara County Superior Court lawsuit brought by the Los Altos parents of Eitan Weiner against Stanford, TDX, an alleged drug dealer and three current or former students who the suit claims were involved in the drug deal that led to Weiner’s death.
The lawsuit claims that defendant Matthew Ming Carpenter has been arrested in Santa Clara County on charges that he sold the drugs that caused the death of Weiner.
The three current or former students — identified as Cole Dill-De Sa, William Mitchell and Muhammad Khattak — lived with Weiner at TDX and “aided and abetted” in obtaining the drugs, the suit claims.
The suit says that Eitan died after consuming Perocet laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a man-made opioid like morphine but 50-100 times more powerful.
Eitan’s parents — both long-time Stanford employees — say the university:
• ignored health warnings about counterfeit Perocet;
• failed to follow its own procedures to protect students;
• didn’t remove TDX from campus despite “continuous violations of the university’s policies” and instead pandered to donors to allow the fraternity to stay open.
“Stanford long knew that it had a problem with drugs on campus,” the lawsuit states. “Moreover the university knew that it had an acute problem with drug use among members of the Greek community. And within that select community, Stanford knew that it had a serious problem with TDX.”
“Yet, despite the incontrovertible evidence, the university continued to allow TDX and its members to engage in reckless and illegal conduct for years,” the suit said. “Sadly, even after Eitan’s death, Stanford would still drag its feet in taking action against this toxic organization.”
Stanford issued a statement that says in part:
“Stanford was saddened to receive news of a lawsuit brought by the family of Eitan Weiner. Our community continues to mourn Eitan’s tragic death in January 2020, and we have great sympathy for his family and those affected by his death.
“Out of respect for Eitan’s parents, who are valued employees, the university is not addressing the specifics of each claim in the lawsuit nor elaborating on the chain of events that occurred. However, the university disagrees with many of the allegations in the complaint and will defend itself against the lawsuit.”
Eitan’s parents are Julia Erwin-Weiner, associate vice president for Stanford Medical Center Development, and Amir Weiner, a Stanford associate professor of history and director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Their daughter, Ya’el Weiner, graduated in 2019 and Eitan would have graduated this spring.
Eitan graduated from Los Altos High School. He planned to major in history and loved soccer and hip-hop, according to a January 2019 campus email from Stanford President for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole. He was a student employee at the conservative Hoover Institution, according to an online Stanford profile.
After the initial criminal investigation concluded, Stanford said it undertook its own investigation, which resulted in removing university recognition of TDX. The fraternity is no longer active at Stanford.
“Whether and when the fraternity can ask to return to Stanford, and under what conditions, has not yet been decided, pending receipt of any new information that may be revealed during the ongoing criminal proceedings against the individual (not affiliated with Stanford) who provided the controlled substance to Eitan,” Stanford said in its statement, parenthesis theirs.