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Family of FAMU Band Drum Major Killed in Hazing Officially Files Wrongful Death Suit

Posted on July 16, 2012

The family of Robert Champion, the Florida A&M University (FAMU) drum major who died as the result of a band hazing, has filed a lawsuit against FAMU leaders, claiming they did nothing to stop the culture of hazing and ignored a recommendation by the university’s Dean of Students that the band be suspended — just days before the incident occurred.

The suit alleges that FAMU did not suspend the Marching 100 before the Florida Classic weekend in Orlando where the hazing took place because university leaders were more interested in public notoriety and financial gain than in the safety of its students.

The actual filing of the suit came as no surprise to university officials. The family vowed that it would file a suit; however, due to Florida law, they were compelled to wait six months because FAMU is a state institution.

All in all, 14 band members have been charged in connection with the FAMU band hazing incidents that weekend — eleven are charged with felony hazing and three others have been charged with the misdemeanor hazing of others.

Several FAMU leaders, including the long-time band director, and FAMU’s president, resigned in the wake of the hazing investigation, which uncovered a plethora of improprieties related to band policies and university practices.

The bus company that owned the notorious “Bus C” where the deadly hazing took place has also been named in the lawsuit.

The death of a loved one is shocking enough without the added shock of knowing that the death was avoidable. If you suspect a loved one has died due to another party’s negligence, your family can choose to file a wrongful death suit. A Florida wrongful death lawsuit attorney at Farah & Farah can help guide your family through a painful time to see that justice is done. Call us at (800) 533-3555 for a free, no-obligation consultation.