HOUSTON - Brenton Griffin says his life was changed forever by a drunken game of kick the can at a fraternity party, one that left him without his right eye.
Asked how it’s affected his life he said “In almost every way. We see with our eyes so it’s just the small things, like driving, depth perception, even shaking hands with someone, I miss sometimes.”
The party was on the University of Houston campus, at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house where he'd been a member. People there were drinking alcohol, and he was no exception. He became so drunk that he passed out. That's when, witnesses say, a fraternity officer decided to kick a can off of his head.
According to the lawsuit, he was propped up on a couch, a can placed on his head. But while aiming for the can, the fraternity officer missed, and his boot went into Griffin’s eye. It was damaged so badly that it had to be removed, something he learned when he awoke in the hospital. He said the fact that his friends were there when it happened was hard to comprehend.
“These were people I had known throughout my college career, it was kind of shocking,” said Griffin.
The alleged kicker is one of 7 individuals whoi, along with the fraternity, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Griffin’s attorney, Mark McCraw, says all bear some responsibility for what happened, and that procedures should have been in place to protect party-goers. “A reasonable person would take some type of action to care for that person, and get that person out of harm’s way.”
Griffin is seeking a million dollars in damages. His medical bills will be substantial, and no amount of money can replace what he lost. His reality is often unpleasant. “Every day, I wake up, and I have to clean my prosthetic. And, when you're cleaning your right eye, you can see your left eye, but there's no other eye.”
He hopes the lawsuit will spare another student from harm or death. “Had the kick been anywhere else on my head, I could be dead.”