Make sure you understand Georgia laws to protect yourself and your children in potential hazing lawsuits.
ATLANTA, GA, May 12, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — An increase in college-related injuries and fraternity hazing practices has led to an increase in lawsuits in the last decade. In many of the injury cases that involve hazing, liability is typically placed on the fraternity and its individual members, rather than the university or college where the hazing took place.
Numerous parties have made large payments to injured victims as a result of lawsuits against fraternities, including chapter members, colleges, national chapters and fraternity members responsible for the hazing.
Parents Have Had to Take Legal Action
In October 2021, Minnesota native Daniel Santulli was discovered in cardiac arrest inside his vehicle at the University of Missouri hospital. According to the Columbia Missourian, his blood alcohol levels were more than six times over the legal limit.
His parents alleged in the lawsuit they brought against the university that he has required constant care and has remained unresponsive since being forced to drink a bottle of liquor at his fraternity. This is just one example of the numerous hazing lawsuits that happen every year, and it could happen to anyone.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Can Occur Due to Hazing
The criminal code is separate from the civil code. Survivors of hazing deaths could file a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the responsible party. The wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving family members to seek punitive damages when someone’s negligence leads to another person’s death.
After someone dies, financial compensation may be sought by the plaintiff. The family might need the money if they were dependent on the decedent. Lead attorney Matthew Stoddard says, “Sending your child off to college should be an exciting experience, but unfortunately, it can lead to life-threatening situations. It’s important to understand how to keep your family safe in these scenarios.”
Georgia Hazing Laws
Georgia’s state law O.C.G.A.16-5-61 defines the criminal offense of hazing in the state. The law reads: “It shall be unlawful for any person to haze an individual as a condition of being accepted, elected or appointed to an office or branch of the school.”
In this law, hazing is defined as any activity that endangers or is likely to endanger the physical health of a student, regardless of whether the student consents to participate.
The Stoddard Firm practices law all over the state of Georgia, representing both the families of people killed by wrongful conduct and those victimized with serious injuries. The firm utilizes a simple formula in its work — small caseloads, investing money and energy into uncovering the truth, and spending time and resources to show how the event changed their client’s life.
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