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Champion Family Rejects FAMU Settlement Offer in Band Hazing Case

Florida A&M University has offered $300,000 to settle a lawsuit stemming from the hazing death of a band drum major. But the family of the drum major is calling the offer “insulting.”

The university made the offer after mediation with the family failed.

Attorney Chris Chestnut, who represents the parents of Robert Champion, the FAMU '"Marching 100" drum major who died last November after being beaten in a hazing ritual, says the university's  $300,000 offer shows it isn't serious about resolving the case.

The Champions’ added FAMU to a wrongful death lawsuit, and claim the school is responsible because it ignored warning about hazing in the band and failed to stop it.  But the university contends its not responsible because Champion signed an anti-hazing agreement.

The university’s settlement offer is the most the school scan pay under state law. Any higher amount would require the approval of the state legislature.

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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