top of page

Family of deceased Florida student brings wrongful death claim

Every student seeks to fit in at school. Some collegiate groups use this aspiration to their advantage in order to haze incoming members. Sadly, some student social groups end up taking this advantage too far. So far that a student's family may have the basis for a wrongful death claim. The family of a marching band member and student at Bethune-Cookman University has filed a lawsuit against the fraternity who hazed their son. This student died in February of last year when the car he was riding in crashed into a utility pole. The family blames the fraternity because the other members subjected their son, the driver of the vehicle, and other pledges to sleep deprivation. The cause of the automobile collision was due to the driver falling asleep behind the wheel. The lawsuit claims that the university knew of the hazing activities and did nothing about it. They claim that this inaction by the administration sent a message to students that hazing was ok. It was discovered that the pledges stayed up late the night before the accident. They were up until almost four in the morning studying the fraternity's history and facts because they were afraid of what would happen if they got any answers wrong. After studying until the early hours of the morning, the pledges were called on to answer questions and were kept there until around 8 a.m.. The accident occurred when the pledges drove home from the fraternity after their Q & A about the fraternity's history Wrongful death claims can be based on a variety of activities that are due to the negligence of another person. A wrongful death claim can result in compensation for the family of the deceased. This compensation can include medical expenses, emotional distress and funeral expenses. The death of a loved one can be an emotional and life changing event. The coping process can be long and strenuous, but seeking answers, liability and possible compensation may help with dealing with the loss of a loved one. Source: The Tampa Tribune, "Hazing lawsuit filed over Bethune-Cookman death," May 29, 2013

bottom of page