“Call us for a free consultation. we care”



one of America’s great voices for legal justice

Lawsuit against Florida university over hazing death is settled

Given the nature of some hazing practices, it's not surprising that this ritual could lead to a wrongful death incident. Such was the case when a drum major at Florida A&M died after being beaten by fellow band members as part of an initiation. This man's family filed a lawsuit seeking compensation and the university chose to settle for a total of $1.1 million.

The incident occurred in November of 2011 as the 26-year-old was subjected to the hazing on a bus while at an Orlando hotel. The band was on a weekend trip for a football game with another school. The student's estate will receive $800,000 from an insurance company while Florida A&M will pay $300,000. This was the maximum the school could pay without approval from the Florida Legislature. The payment will come from the Florida Department of Financial Services.

The school apologized for the incident and a plaque in the deceased student's memory will be placed at a location that has not yet been determined. Fifteen of the band members who were involved in the beating were arrested. The bulk of the sentences given out included community service and probation. One student, who allegedly organized the hazing, was convicted of felony hazing and manslaughter. His sentence is six years.

This wrongful death resulted from an ill-advised tradition. Such a fatal result could result from numerous similar circumstances. When the loss of a loved one occurs for any reason, it is vital that the family left behind understands how to pursue a legal case for compensation.

Source: Florida Courier, 'FAMU settles wrongful death suit with drum major's family," Sept. 18, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Attorney Referrals

Attorney Referrals

Some cases are too big to tackle alone. Partner with a nationally recognized litigation firm and benefit from our proven success. Read More.



We are dedicated to giving back to the community. We regularly sponsor giveaways and donation drives to serve those around us.



Lawyer Christopher Chestnut has been featured in thousands of international media outlets for his role in handling landmark cases. Read More.

Mr. Chestnut was recognized by On Being A Black Lawyer (OBABL) as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in America in 2012, and he was featured in Florida Trend, the State of Florida’s premier business magazine. As a native of Gainesville, Fla., and a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Florida College of Law, Mr. Chestnut has been featured in over 1,000 news outlets internationally, including:

espn cnn msnbc The tom joyner morning show Los angeles times, The new York Times abc USA Today cbs news NBC

Contact Us Today: We have active cases in 20 states, and we can be anywhere in the U.S. within 24 hours.

Atlanta Office: 303 Peachtree Street
Suite 4150
Atlanta, GA 30308
Map & Directions

Jacksonville Office: 841 Prudential Drive
Suite 1220
12th Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Map & Directions