On the whole, school sanctioned activities provide participants with a wealth of positive experiences. Teams, bands, clubs and other groups all offer opportunities for students to learn new things and to socialize with others with whom they share common interests. Parents often encourage their children to get involved in these life-enriching activities, trusting that they will be safe as they have fun.
Unfortunately, some of these groups have a darker side. The practice of hazing is nothing new and can take place anywhere, Pennsylvania included. Some hazing activities lead to serious or even fatal accidents. When this happens, a family can be left devastated by the loss of a loved one.
A mother and father have been left to mourn the loss of their son who was killed in a hazing incident. Their son was part of a Florida university marching band. The fatal incident involved the son running through a bus while other band members physically accosted him. He died of the resulting injuries.
Recently, a jury found one of the former band members guilty of felony hazing and manslaughter for his participation in the event. The jury also rejected an argument put forth by the defense that the violent acts that took place on that bus were a traditional band activity.
In addition, there are three more former band members who are set to stand trial. The parents have a pending wrongful death suit against the university.
When you send a child to an educational institution, you have the expectation that there have been safeguards put in place to protect them from harm. When a tragedy like this occurs, there must be answers as to how it happened and what could be done to prevent it from happening again.
If your child ever suffers a catastrophic injury that could have been prevented, you have justification to want to seek legal recourse. A Pennsylvania personal injury attorney may be able to help you by conducting a thorough investigation of the incident. The attorney could also advise you on a course of action that may lead to the responsible parties receiving justice.
Source: Northwest Public Radio, “Jury Finds Tradition Is No Excuse For Brutal Hazing,” Greg Allen, Nov. 1, 2014