If Florida A&M U Loses Hazing Suit, Law May Limit Damages Awarded

Ann McClure's picture
Thursday, May 24, 2012

With every troubling new revelation about Florida A&M University's Marching 100, the pending civil case against FAMU seems to grow stronger for the parents of Robert Champion, the drum major who died from being hazed on a charter bus in Orlando.

But the prospects of Robert and Pamela Champion collecting a large financial settlement or jury award is another matter. That's because the university enjoys the legal protection of sovereign immunity, which could severely limit the amount of money the Champions ultimately collect if they win a lawsuit.

That does not deter the Champions' attorney Christopher Chestnut. The evidence, he says, is overwhelming:
•Nearly a quarter of the 400-plus members of the high-stepping band were ineligible to perform at the annual Florida Classic football game in November, yet 60 of those made the trip to the Citrus Bowl.

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