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Personal Injury As A Result Of School Hazing


Greek life is well-known for many conflicting things: charity work, mentoring, and student pride; parties, wild times, and yes, despite state and university bans, hazing. Unlike the perceptions among some, hazing can result in serious mental, emotional, and physical harms, including death. If you or someone you love has suffered significant harm due to hazing, you may have cause to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The Details 

Scrubbing floors until the wee hours of the morning, paddle beatings, cigarette and torch burns, being spit on, physical assaults, and laying on nails: those are just some of the activities young pledges have been required to endure should they wish to participate in Greek life at the University of Maryland. Additional hazing activities included being forced to:

  • Drink urine;
  • Eat living fish;
  • Swallow chewing tobacco;
  • Drink straight vodka;
  • Endure physical tasks like planks and wall-sits;
  • Be locked in the basement and required to clean up broken glass;
  • Engage with Greek members while naked or in just underwear.

The Aftermath 

If you think any of those activities sound like they could lead to serious long-term harm, you’d be right. According to a study on the topic, over seven in ten individuals who’d suffered hazing experienced negative outcomes in the long run, including:

  • Sleep deprivation;
  • Loss of self-empowerment;
  • Coursework and grade regressions;
  • Problems with trust, particularly toward the group in question;
  • Loss of respect for Greek life;
  • Impacts on friend and family relationships;
  • Mental, emotional, and physical instability;
  • PTSD;
  • Hospitalization;
  • Death.

Why are We Still Hearing About These Episodes? 

Campuses and states alike have banned all hazing activity after years of horrendous outcomes and terrible press.  Yet the practice continues. One reason may be that the students who experience hazing rarely report it. Additionally, the mere idea of hazing is so deeply entrenched in many Greek organizations that members have a tough time giving it up.

Legal Consequences 

Anti-hazing laws have been on the books for long enough that every Greek organization cannot claim ignorance. Those laws prohibit all hazing in Maryland, including the creation of any situations that might subject students to potential bodily harm as part of an initiation. Anyone found guilty of hazing could wind up facing a $500 fine and/or six months behind bars.  Even so, many organizations continue to enlist hazing activities as a means of weaning out pledges to their groups.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit 

Since the potential of criminal penalties doesn’t seem to be influencing everyone that should take note, perhaps a personal injury lawsuit would do the trick in the aftermath of serious injury or death. At The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, our Baltimore personal injury attorneys fight vigorously to achieve the best possible outcomes for you.  Schedule a confidential consultation in our Baltimore office today.



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