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Lawsuit Pending for Alleged Hazing Death

On behalf of Oldham & Smith posted in Premises Liability on Friday, December 9, 2011

Florida A&M University may be in hot water after a 26-year-old student died due to an alleged hazing accident that took place Saturday. His family now says he was likely subjected to dangerous conditions related to hazing.

Police say that the student, who was a drum major, was discovered to be vomiting and having problems breathing while on a bus in Orlando following a football game played against the school’s rival team. The student later collapsed and died from his injuries.

Autopsy results have yet to determine the cause of the student’s death and could take a few months, according to the medical examiner’s office in Orange County. Police, however, believe hazing had been happening within members of the marching band, causing injury.

Investigations are ongoing, and according to the governor, state officials will be joining the case. Currently, Florida A&M has fired its band director and it also stopped the music department’s and marching band’s performances after the drum major’s death, according to a CBS News article.

The family of the band student says they hope suing the school will bring light to hazing problems, which are frequent. Hazing is considered a felony in the third degree in the state if death is involved.

Other incidences of hazing have occurred at colleges across the county in marching bands, including other Florida universities. One student at FAMU in 2001 was subject to hazing and was beaten with a paddle. He sustained kidney damage.

Source: CBS News, “Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion dies after suspected hazing incident, family to sue,” Nov. 25, 2011

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