Former Virginia State Student Files $1.7 Million Hazing Lawsuit Against Phi Beta Sigma
Former Virginia State University student Christopher Rudder says that between 2008 and 2009, he endured physical and mental abuse while pledging for the campus’ chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. He now has filed a $1.7 million suit against the national fraternity and the chapter for compensatory and punitive damages, just two years after the fraternity settled a suit brought after the hazing death of a Prairie View A&M student. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The acts of hazing included: being punched and slapped in the chest, stomach and back; being kicked with a boot in the neck and groin; being forced to engage in extreme calisthenics to the point of exhaustion; being forced to drink water out of a shared bowl; being forced to pass a rotten egg by mouth to another pledge; being yelled and screamed at and called demeaning and humiliating names; and being interrogated in an intimidating and threatening manner.
The lawsuit said Rudder began to wear down physically and emotionally, and when he pleaded to be excused from a night’s hazing events, fraternity members laughed at him, punched him and hazed him even harder.
Five fraternity members named in the lawsuit were criminally charged with hazing in 2009, the Times-Dispatch reports, but the charges were dropped after they organized on-campus anti-hazing programs.