Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury law firm has recently learned that a Florida student has filed a lawsuit against the Florida A&M University (FAMU) as a result of an alleged hazing incident. Bria Hunter, until recently, attended the school as a freshman, and claims that her thigh bone was broken by three members of the marching band. Criminal hazing charges have been filed against all three band members of the Red Dawg Order, and two are facing criminal felony battery charges. Recently, investigators ruled the death of a young male involved in one alleged incident as a homicide.
According to ABC news, Hunter informed the authorities that her hazing initiation began in September. On October 31, she alleges that two members beat her on her thighs more than 20 times with their fists, and on November 1, she was struck on her thighs with a metal ruler. On November 7, she visited a physician and discovered that she suffered from a crack femur, had bone swelling and blood clots had formed in her legs. Other pledges have confirmed Hunter’s allegations and informed police that they witnessed the young men strike her in the legs and also say that two of them went too far in punishing her. Apparently, Hunter believes that she was singled out because she was allegedly the leader of the pledges.
Days after Hunter became aware of her personal injuries, on November 19, Robert Champion died, and the medical examiner in Orange County, Florida ruled the death as a homicide resulting from being beaten during a hazing incident. Hazing, which is illegal in the state of Florida, is considered a ritual involving various activities such as abuse. Fort Lauderdale civil assault lawyers acknowledge that these types of activities are usually required in order to become a member of a group or club. When most people hear of hazing activities they usually think of those activities associated with fraternities and sororities, although there are other organizations which perform this secretive ritual. Further, it is reported that each year, at least one student dies as a result of hazing.
Courts have considered many activities as hazing including physical touching (pushing, shoving or striking a person), cursing, marking or branding an individual, depriving persons of sleep, requiring indecent exposure, and preventing personal hygiene. Like Hunter, many students feel compelled to participate in hazing related activities because they want to belong to a group. However, hazing that involves physical injuries, humiliation, and embarrassment is victimization. And those who inflict hazing practices upon another that cause them serious injury or death should be held accountable for their actions. There are criminal and civil consequences an individual could face as a result of the practice.
Our Fort Lauderdale hazing lawyers represent injured parties and families who have lost a loved one as a result of hazing. If your loved one has died, you could have a legal claim involving a wrongful death suit. You should contact an attorney today to discuss your unique circumstances with a qualified attorney and to learn about your legal alternatives.
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