Hazing is an unfortunate yet common ritual of initiation in sports, social clubs, fraternities, and sororities throughout the nation. Too often, students suffer severe injury or even death when hazing is taken too far. In fact, research has shown at least one documented death from hazing every year between 1959 and 2019.
What is “hazing?”
In Ohio, hazing is defined as “doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person.” R.C. 2903.31.
What are your rights if you or a loved one was injured from hazing?
In Ohio, a person injured during hazing is able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for any injury or damages, including mental and physical pain and suffering, that result from hazing. The lawsuit may be brought against the people participating in the hazing, and in certain circumstances, the school or organization that the victim belongs to. See R.C. 2307.44.
Can you sue even if you voluntarily took part in the hazing ritual?
Yes. Ohio law recognizes the pressure that students face to take part in hazing rituals. For this reason, the victim’s own negligence or consent to take part in the activity that caused injury cannot be used against them in a court of law. Id.
What should you do if you or a loved one was injured from hazing?
Contact an attorney to learn more about your rights. If you or a loved one suffered injury from a hazing related incident and would like to have a free and confidential consultation with an attorney, please contact Markovits, Stock & DeMarco at (513) 651-3700 or [email protected]