There is news on the legal front in the untimely death of Florida A&M University’s drum major. The 26-year-old college student died last November after he was the victim of an attack, aboard one of the band’s buses, reportedly due to hazing. Florida’s prosecutor indicated that the young man received multiple blows to his arms, chest and shoulders which lead to his death.
The parents of the deceased college student recently added FAMU to the wrongful death lawsuit they filed earlier this year.
The addition of the university to the lawsuit previously against the owner of the bus on which the incident occurred, is not surprising. Because the university is a state entity, under a state law, there was a six month waiting period before it could be added to the lawsuit. The lawsuit indicates the family is seeking an unnamed amount that equals more than $15,000. The mother of the drum major said that if the lawsuit is successful, some of the financial damages would be given to the Robert D. Champion Drum Major for Change Foundation.
The announcement of the addition of the university to the lawsuit prompted another change as well. The president of the college announced his resignation. This too was not a big surprise. The university’s board of trustees had previously given the president an 8-4 vote of no confidence. The no confidence vote was at least in part due to what some viewed as his lax attitude toward hazing at the school.
The civil lawsuit is of course not the only case pending in the matter. This past spring, in addition to two misdemeanor charges, felony charges were brought against 11 individuals.
We will continue to provide updates on the matter as they become available.
Source: USA Today, “Florida A&M president resigns amid hazing scandal,” Larry Copeland and Yamiche Alcindor, July 11, 2012