Bill seeks compensation in FAMU hazing death

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Senate Democrat filed a bill Friday that could set the stage for the state to compensate the family of a Florida A&M University marching-band member who died in a highly publicized hazing incident.

Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, filed the bill (SB 60) to compensate Robert Champion Sr. and Pam Champion, the parents of band member, Robert Champion Jr.

The bill said the Champion estate filed a lawsuit against FAMU and that the parties have negotiated but have not reached a settlement. The bill does not list a specific amount that would be paid to the parents.

Champion, a drum major in the university's "Marching 100" band, died after getting pummeled on a bus in Orlando.

The bill, which will be considered during the 2016 legislative session, alleges that as a result of FAMU's "failure to develop adequate hazing policies or enforce policies already in place, Robert Champion, Jr., was fatally hazed by fellow band members and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University students."