EDUCATION

Family sues a year after California fraternity pledge dies on grueling hazing hike

  • FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2014, file photo, California State University, Northridge, CSUN, President Dianne Harrison, right, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, at a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif. The family of the California college student who died during a fraternity hike sued the organization and the school on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, saying the young man's death was senseless and easily preventable. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2014, file photo, California State University, Northridge, CSUN, President Dianne Harrison, right, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, at a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif. The family of the California college student who died during a fraternity hike sued the organization and the school on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, saying the young man's death was senseless and easily preventable. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2014, file photo, relatives of the late Armando Villa, Joshua Castaneda, left, and his mother Martha Castaneda and Villa's aunt, Maria Castaneda, right, react, as California State University, Northridge CSUN President Dianne Harrison, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, at a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif. The family of the California college student who died during a fraternity hike sued the organization and the school on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, saying the young man's death was senseless and easily preventable. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2014, file photo, relatives of the late Armando Villa, Joshua Castaneda, left, and his mother Martha Castaneda and Villa's aunt, Maria Castaneda, right, react, as California State University, Northridge CSUN President Dianne Harrison, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, at a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif. The family of the California college student who died during a fraternity hike sued the organization and the school on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, saying the young man's death was senseless and easily preventable. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2014, file photo, relatives of the late Armando Villa, Joshua Castaneda, left, and his mother Martha Castaneda, and Villa's aunt, Maria Castaneda, right, react as California State University, Northridge CSUN President Dianne Harrison, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, at a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif. The family of the California college student who died during a fraternity hike sued the organization and the school on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, saying the young man's death was senseless and easily preventable. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2014, file photo, relatives of the late Armando Villa, Joshua Castaneda, left, and his mother Martha Castaneda, and Villa's aunt, Maria Castaneda, right, react as California State University, Northridge CSUN President Dianne Harrison, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, at a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif. The family of the California college student who died during a fraternity hike sued the organization and the school on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, saying the young man's death was senseless and easily preventable. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)  (The Associated Press)

The family of a California college student who died during a grueling fraternity hazing hike is suing the organization and the school, saying the young man's death was senseless and easily preventable.

Nineteen-year-old Armando Villa, who attended California State University, Northridge, died a year ago Wednesday after he collapsed during an 18-mile hike organized by Pi Kappa Phi.

A university investigation blamed hazing. The fraternity closed its chapter at the school, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department opened a still-ongoing investigation.

Villa's mother and stepfather filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging negligence and hazing. It seeks unspecified damages.

The university says in a statement that the school didn't know about the hike beforehand and isn't responsible for Villa's death. A fraternity spokesman declined to comment on the litigation.