Florida A&M University wants to settle a lawsuit stemming from the hazing death of one of the school band’s drum majors. University trustees voted Thursday to direct their attorney’s to enter a mediation session with the attorneys representing the parents of Robert Champion, who died in November after being beaten in a hazing ritual. Lynn Hatter reports FAMU’s attorney says they want the courts to dismiss the lawsuit.
A mediation session is required before the case against the university can go to a trial.
The family of Robert Champion claim university officials knew about hazing in the band but failed to act. Some university officials proposed suspending the band due to other hazing incidents before to the drum major’s death.
The family’s attorney Chris Chestnut says they still want the case to go to trial, but says he can’t speak on whether the family will consider a settlement agreement.
Any deals would have to be approved by FAMU trustees, and payments above 300-thousand dollars would have to be approved by the Florida legislature.
Eleven FAMU band members face felony hazing charges, while two others face misdemeanor counts in the hazing case. They have all pleaded not guilty.