Florida A&M University asks to be dropped from hazing case

This past July we provided an update to the lawsuit the family of the deceased drum major filed against multiple defendants in his hazing death. At that point Florida A&M University had been added to the lawsuit previously filed against the owner of the company that owned the bus where the incident occurred, after the six month waiting period that is required before a state entity can be added.

Now FAMU has filed a requested to have the case against it dropped, denying that it was responsible for the death of the 26-year-old. It claims it cannot be legally liable for the man’s death because the injuries that lead to it “arose from his participation in unlawful acts of hazing.”

As a part of the filing the school claims that:

  • The deceased was aware of what the hazing ritual entailed.
  • He was aware that two other individuals were going through the process that day before him.
  • He did not do anything to stop the hazing of the other two band members before him.

The filing also indicated that despite criminal charges having been filed against others involved in the deadly incident, none of those individuals are facing civil lawsuits.

Though FAMU does not believe it is responsible for the death of the drum major it has nonetheless made multiple changes to the way in which hazing allegations are handled. In addition to creating independent panels of experts to investigate the allegations, it has also created two new jobs to handle hazing and band issues respectively and launched a new website focused on ending hazing at the school.

What do you think about this? Should FAMU be held responsible for what happened to this victim of an attack?

Source: CNN, “FAMU says it’s not responsible for drum major’s hazing death,” Sept. 11, 2012