At What Point Can You Sue For College Hazing?
Hazing was once just a right of passage. However, times have changed! There are now more rules in colleges against it and it could be possible to sue against those involved. If you have been involved in college hazing that crossed a line, it is normal to want to know more regarding whether or not you can take legal action.
First, What Is Hazing?
What's the difference between hazing, bullying, and other similar activities? What does hazing actually involved?
Hazing is often used on pledges of fraternities or athletic teams. This goes further than fun pranks. It can involving beatings, abuse, and dangerous/illegal activities. It can also involve sexual acts and alcohol. In some severe cases, it has led to the deaths of students. It is a form of bullying, which is illegal in 49 states.
So, Can You Sue for Hazing?
You can sue for hazing. The questions are when you can sue, whom you sue, and what you sue for? Hazing isn't usually negligence, as those who do the hazing usually know the risks but go through with it anyway. There is an intentional act to cause harm – both physically and/or mentally.
You can sue when the hazing does actually cause harm. It does not matter if it is physical or mental. The key to the lawsuit being successful is the fact that you have to prove the harm the hazing caused. Fortunately, hospital, doctor, and police reports are often enough evidence to prove harm was caused during the hazing.
That does not mean you have to wait until it all goes terribly wrong. You can take the case to the school and see to it that hazing it acknowledged and brought to an end. Then, you can sue the organization who organized the hazing for damages.
Negligence or Intentional Tort?
There are two ways you can sue. Some acts are negligence, including the failure to act during the event. It could mean that other pledges or fraternities as a whole are held liable for their actions.
The intentional tort avenue is when harm is caused through an act that the hazer meant to do. This would include physical and sexual abuse.
Hazing is not a right of passage. It doesn't have to happened, and you don't need to join to be part of a team. You can sue for past events, as long as you can prove that harm came from the hazing. For more information, talk to a lawyer like Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP.