FAMU Hazing Victim's Family to File Lawsuit

The hazing death of the marching band drum major has rocked the university and its president.

Posted: 07/10/2012 02:19 PM EDT
FAMU Hazing Victim's Family to File Lawsuit

The parents of the Florida A&M University drum major who was killed as a result of a hazing incident plan to file a lawsuit against the college, a spokesman for the family said.

Their son, Robert Champion, a drum major in the school’s famed Marching 100 band, collapsed and died at the hands of fellow students on a bus in Orlando on Nov. 19. Authorities have released few details in his death, but they believe hazing played a role.

Champion’s parents, Robert and Pamela Champion, made it clear some time ago that they planned to file a lawsuit against the university. However, under state law in Florida, they were compelled to delay their suit for at least six months because FAMU is a state institution.

Champion, 26, was struck by his fellow band members while on a parked charter bus after the annual football game between Florida A&M and Bethune Cookman University. In May, 11 people were charged with felony hazing in connection with his death.

The college student's death has rocked the school, its onetime celebrated marching band and the university’s president, James Ammons. Last month, Ammons said he would remain in his office at the university even though the board of trustees took a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

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(Photo: Tami Chappell/ LANDOV/REUTERS)