Update: FAMU Blames Hazing Death on the Victim

by Carmen Dellutri on October 3, 2012

Sarasota car accident attorneyFlorida A&M University is not responsible for drum major Robert Champion's hazing death, according to a recently filed motion to dismiss. Rather, FAMU argues Champion is to blame for his own death.

As we have been discussing on this Florida personal injury blog, the 26-year-old died aboard a chartered bus parked outside an Orlando hotel following a band performance. Champion was severely beaten by band members during the hazing on the bus and ultimately died of his injuries. His family has filed a wrongful death suit against the bus driver, the bus company, and FAMU for failing to prevent their son’s death.

The lawsuit alleges that FAMU officials failed to address a pervasive culture of hazing. However, the university maintains in cannot be held liable because Champion was a willing participant and knew the dangers of hazing.

“Respectfully, as a 26 year old adult and leader in FAMU's band, Mr. Champion should have refused to participate in the planned hazing event and reported it to law enforcement or University administrators. Under these circumstances, Florida's taxpayers should not be held financially liable to Mr. Champion's Estate for the ultimate result of his own imprudent, avoidable and tragic decision and death," the motion states.

As Fort Myers personal injury attorneys, we are not surprised by FAMU’s harsh response. Unfortunately, blaming the victim is a common defense in many wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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