Five young men now face murder charges for the 2013 hazing death of a New York City college student. According to a CNN report, the Baruch College freshman died from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered during a hazing incident for the Pi Delta Psi fraternity.
During the hazing, the freshman was blindfolded freshman fell and struck his head. He went unconscious and didn’t receive medical care for two hours. Officials say the delay in treatment lead to his death.
The five men were arraigned on murder charges, but they’re not the only people facing legal consequences for the hazing. The incident took place at the Poconos in Pennsylvania, and the Monroe County grand jury there recommended charges against 37 people in total.
Whether the men are found guilty of murder or lesser charges, the family of the victim will have an opportunity to file a civil lawsuit. There are many differences between a criminal case and a civil case. The most famous example of criminal versus civil wrongful death cases involved the O.J. Simpson murder case. In that situation, the jury was unable to convict him of murder, but the family of the victim was still able to hold him accountable for their son’s death in civil court.
In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. In a civil case, the person bringing the case has to show that the at-fault party’s negligence contributed to the death. In a wrongful death suit, the family of the victim must prove that the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing was a factor in the victim’s fatal injuries.
If you’ve lost a loved one because of the careless or reckless actions of another, DO NOT hesitate to research your legal options. Filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s often the only way to get fair compensation for your tragic loss.
A New York wrongful death attorney can review your case and help you understand all your options. Contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP to discuss your situation.
We can be reached at (212) 986-7353.