Robert Champion Lawsuit: Settlement Offer In FAMU Hazing Case Rejected By Parents

11/09/2012 05:00 pm ET
AP

Florida A&M University has offered to settle a lawsuit brought against the school by the parents of Robert Champion, a drum major in the college band killed last year during a hazing incident.

FAMU is offering $300,000, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but Robert Champion, Sr., and Pamela Champion aren't interested, CNN reports.

Their suit alleges the university did nothing to prevent the death of their son, who was beaten to death on a bus by fellow band members in a ritual called "crossing over." The Champion family said a FAMU dean's earlier proposal to suspend the school band over allegations of hazing should have been considered more seriously and would have saved their son.

The $300,000 settlement is the maximum that the university could offer without special approval from the Florida legislature. It comes only after attorneys for the college asked a judge to toss the lawsuit, claiming -- initially -- that Champion was responsible for his own death.

Champion's case gained national attention when a medical examiner called his death a homicide. Charges were brought against 14 bandmates, some of whom had escorted Champion's casket to its burial.

The Champions' attorney, Chris Chestnut, said in an earlier press conference that the lawsuit wasn't intended to result in a "jackpot" settlement. The Champions have also sued the bus company and the driver of the bus where their son's beating occurred.

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