Two New Defendants Added to Hazing Ritual Lawsuit Claiming Personal Injury
Last September, one woman filed a personal injury lawsuit against Clemson for a hazing ritual that left her with long-term medical needs, including a traumatic brain injury and necessary plastic surgery. On Friday, April 24th, two new defendants were added to the hazing ritual lawsuit.
Former Clemson women’s soccer player Haley Ellen Hunt, now 21, filed a personal injury lawsuit last fall against the university for allowing the women’s soccer team to conduct hazing rituals that put players in serious physical danger. Hunt, then 18, says in her lawsuit that she woke up in the middle of the night, was blind-folded and shoved into the trunk of a car, and taken to Riggs Field. There, her teammates and coaches spun her around and screamed at her until she was completely disoriented, while still blind-folded, and then she was ordered to sprint out of the area. She hit a brick wall in full sprint, which caused numerous lacerations to her hands and face, and a concussion that became a traumatic brain injury.
Hunt’s complaint alleges that Clemson’s hazing rituals began occurring in the early 1900’s, and “included blindfolding the freshmen players at night, forcing them into the rear compartments of automobiles, driving the freshmen players around, forcing them to participate in embarrassing and humiliating acts, and forcing them to participate in a secret ritual using team gear on the team’s home soccer field, Riggs Field.”
Ms. Hunt’s personal injury lawsuit adds that hazing rituals are portrayed as “a mandatory team activity.”
Two new defendants, Rachel Hurd Bottoms and Sarah Jacobs, were added to an existing list of 14 defendants who were part of the Clemson women’s soccer team, and who allegedly took part in the hazing ritual that went awry. Coaches for the team have also been added as defendants to the hazing ritual lawsuit.
Coaches who have been added to the list of defendants have stated that Hunt’s characterization of the hazing ritual is incorrect. While they acknowledge that she was severely injured in the incident, her injuries “were caused by the greater negligence and/or willfulness of the Plaintiff.”
Hazing has been a problem among fraternities, sororities, sports teams, and other group activities for many years, but recent news reports of fraternity activities, football teams’ “bonding rituals,” and even high school band members’ trips to competitions show that hazing rituals go too far. Kids and young adults are often forced into demeaning situations, binge drinking, physically dangerous acts, and even sexual assault. Personal injury from hazing can range from emotional damages, to post-traumatic stress disorder, to broken bones, to concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Hazing rituals have been tolerated as “tradition,” but these supposed bonding activities or tests of will power push too many participants beyond their limits leading to unnecessary injury at the hands of a supposed friend. If you or your child has been hurt due to a hazing ritual, you should contact the South Carolina personal injury hazing ritual lawsuit attorneys immediately.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Hazing Rituals
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to a hazing ritual, you do not have to suffer alone. Break the silence of these deadly traditions and file a hazing lawsuit against your attackers. The South Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer a free, confidential case evaluation to discuss the incident and see how we can help, so contact us today. 803.252.4800