Texas A&M Students Sue Frat After Hazing Injuries
Two Texas A&M students have filed a lawsuit against a school frat after they suffered chemical burns from a hazing incident. The students said they suffered a serious bodily injury when an industrial strength cleaning solution was poured onto their bodies. The students have elected not to sue the university. The fraternity is an authorized chapter.
According to the complaint, the frat brothers poured a concoction of condiments, human spit, paint, and industrial-strength cleaner into a fluid solution that was to be dumped on the pledges. While the rest didn’t seem to have too bad of an impact, the industrial-strength cleaner sent both boys to the hospital where they required skin grafts to repair the damage. They will now likely have permanent scarring as a result of the burn injuries. The students are seeking at least $1 million in damages.
Texas A&M has suspended the fraternity for two years as a result of the incident. Once the suspension ends, the fraternity will be on probation for another two years. That act may have saved them from a lawsuit filed against the university directly. Reports of on-campus hazing have increased over the past three years. Since 2018, the University has found ten organizations that violated the University’s anti-hazing policies. In 2006, a pledge of the same fraternity died in a hazing incident. Since 2007, universities across the country have disciplined this particular fraternity over 100 times and 15 chapters have been suspended or closed. Between 2006 and 2013, there were 9 deaths related to excessive partying or hazing. The fraternity has suspended and disaffiliated itself with the UT chapter.
Hazing and personal injury lawsuits
If someone is injured due to fraternity hazing, they can file a lawsuit against the fraternity and often the university. In this case, the university has been actively suspending fraternities who commit hazing crimes within the purview of campus life. So, the university has created an infrastructure to manage hazing issues on-campus, it just hasn’t been very effective. While this could become an allegation in a personal injury lawsuit against the university, Texas law strictly restricts lawsuits filed against the government or government officials who are acting within the confines of their duty. That alone could be enough to drop the university from the lawsuit.
Instead, the students have elected to sue the UT chapter of the fraternity and its national charter. The national charter has moved to distance itself from the UT chapter which has since changed its name after being disaffiliated from the fraternity. Each of the individuals who partook in the hazing ritual could face personal liability and the finances of the fraternity will be used to bankroll any personal injury settlement that is awarded to the plaintiffs in this case.
The national fraternity has chosen to throw the UT chapter under the bus, a move that will help them with the plaintiffs. It allows them to claim that they take hazing seriously, won’t tolerate it from their fraternities, and will disaffiliate any chapter that is caught hazing pledges.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence, malice, or indifference of a culpable party, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today and we will fight for your recovery and the compensation of any money you’re owed.