FAMU asks lawsuit from hazing death be dismissed - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

FAMU asks lawsuit from hazing death be dismissed

by MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press

ORLANDO Fla. — Attorneys for Florida A&M University on Wednesday asked a judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought by the family of a drum major who died last year after being hazed by fellow band members, claiming Robert Champion was a willing participant in the ritual.

University attorney Richard Mitchell said Champion wasn’t forced to board a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel where the hazing took place, and he had risen through the ranks of the famed Marching 100 band without taking part in hazing until that fateful night in November 2011

Champion’s willingness to take part in the hazing ritual gives the university immunity from the wrongful death lawsuit, Mitchell said.

“Robert Champion knew exactly what he was doing,” he said.

Champion’s parents filed a lawsuit contending university officials did not take action to stop hazing even though a school dean proposed suspending the famed Marching 100 band just days before their son died. The lawsuit also alleges that school officials fell short in enforcing anti-hazing policies.

Champion’s parents rejected a $300,000 settlement offer from the university earlier this month.

Ten FAMU band members face felony hazing charges in the case, while two others face misdemeanor counts.

The lawsuit also names the bus company that operated the bus where the hazing took place, as well as its driver. Their attorneys told Circuit Judge Walter Kominski that Champion’s participation relieved them of liability.

“It is not an issue of whether he was a participant in hazing,” said Dick Ford, an attorney for Fabulous Coach Lines. “He certainly was a participant in hazing.”

RELATED ARTICLES >>
American University President Affirms Contentious Tenure Denial American University has upheld its decision to deny tenure to former professor Carolyn Brown, a broadcast journalist who appealed after she was the latest in a number of women who claimed that they were victims of a biased evaluation by former AU Pro...
Increase in American Suicides Has Historical Roots The recent suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade https and CNN celebrity chef host Anthony Bourdain last week sent shock waves throughout much of the entertainment industry. Reaction from the public was one of incredulity. Millions of people took t...
A Scholar Without Borders Dr. E. Patrick Johnson spent his early childhood as the youngest of seven children with their single mother in a one-bedroom apartment in Hickory, N.C. When he received his Ph.D. in speech communication in 1996 from Louisiana State University, the to...
At NCORE, Symone Sanders Calls for Civility in Discourse NEW ORLEANS—More than 3,500 students, faculty and staff from colleges and universities across the nation are gathering here this week to engage in critical discussions about race relations on their college campus in particular, and in society in gene...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *