The grim case of Florida A&M University (FAMU) Drum Major Robert Champion (pictured) has left a stain on the famed university. Three months ago, the shocking news that the band member and Decatur native collapsed and died while on a bus outside a hotel spread fast. Now with the Champion family bringing forth a lawsuit against the bus line, details concerning the student’s death are coming to the surface.
A report from WXIA-TV in Atlanta went into depth in the lawsuit against Fabulous Coach Lines, alleging that the bus company was culpable in the death of Champion. The band members placed Champion under a hazing ritual known as the “Hot Seat,” where a pledge must sit with a pillowcase over his head and answer questions while being beaten. Another violent ritual mentioned in the lawsuit is “Bus C,” where a pledge is made to run from front to end on the bus while being kicked, pushed, and beaten.
The family’s attorney, Chris Chestnut, is saying that the company knew about the hazing and has participated in such events in times past. The WXIA report further noted that a female driver reportedly stood guard outside the bus and pushed Champion back inside after he emerged vomiting and physically hurt.
Last month, Fabulous Coach Lines CEO Ray Land told WXIA that his company had no prior knowledge of the hazing events. The bus line has also neglected to respond to the latest allegations as well.