Hazing is any humiliating, degrading or abusive activity that is expected of another person who is seeking to join or participate in a group. Hazing activities are often dangerous, sometimes fatal, and are conducted regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. According to a national survey of hazing, 50 percent of college students who are involved in clubs, teams and organizations have reported experiencing hazing.
The mother of a recently deceased Florida college sophomore has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bethune-Cookman University following a fatal accident. The complaint states that the members of the Pi Gamma chapter of Phi Mu Alpha subjected the young man to hazing resulting in his death. The complaint has identified the school as a defendant for having knowledge of, and failing to stop, the hazing activities.
According to the complaint, the student died when the car he was riding in crashed into a utility pole in Daytona Beach. The suit cites sleep deprivation brought on by hazing as the cause of the fatal accident. The specific activities involved fraternity pledges staying up all night to study fraternity history for a quiz. A spokesperson for the university said that the school has a long-standing no-tolerance policy on hazing.
The worst pain a parent can experience is the loss of a child. While no amount of litigation can make up for the loss of a loved one, it is possible to hold those responsible accountable. In most wrongful death cases, it is the family of the decedent who files suit on behalf of the victim. In a successful lawsuit, family members can recover financial damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of consortium and more.