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Florida Hazing Incident Leads to Serious Injuries and Three Arrests

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on December 14, 2011

A hazing incident at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has led to serious injuries for one freshman and the arrests of three people who broke the victim’s leg and caused other injuries. Tallahassee Police arrested three young men aged 19, 22 and 23 for felony battery for injuring the 18-year-old member of the school’s “Marching 100” band. In addition to a broken femur, the victim suffered blood clots and bruised bones in her legs. The victim said she suffered the beatings on October 31 and November 1 while the Marching 100 band was in Orlando to perform at halftime of the Florida Classic football game. Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham is closely following developments in this case, as it is distressingly similar to a similar hazing incident that claimed the life of a 26-year-old FAMU drum major who collapsed and died in October. Police suspect that hazing led to this victim’s death.

The victim told police that she suffered the physical abuse when she tried to join a band club called the “Red Dawg Order,” which includes members from Georgia. She said she was struck repeatedly by two of the members at a meeting of the club held at a member’s apartment. She said she was forced to lift her legs as if she was marching in the band and the three arrested men punched her on top of her thighs more than 20 times. The next day at another meeting in the same apartment, the victim and other pledges were beaten by two of the men because they could not recite information that they were supposed to remember about the club. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the State Board of Governors are investigating the incidents.

The beatings that the victim received and her injuries suggest a great deal more than hazing pranks. To James O. Cunningham and other Orlando personal injury lawyers, the incidents sound a lot more like assault, and the victim may be able to pursue damages against the three individuals. Medical treatment for her injuries is likely to climb into the thousands of dollars, and damages awarded in a lawsuit or settlement could help her pay these bills while she attends college. If you have been assaulted and want to explore your legal options, call James O. Cunningham today at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 to schedule a free consultation. He has law offices conveniently located throughout Central Florida and works hard to help clients receive the fair and just compensation they deserve.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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