The family of Robert Champion, the Florida A&M University drum major who was brutally killed in a 2011 hazing ritual, will receive $1.1 million as part of a settlement with the university, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
An insurance company will pay $800,000 to Mr. Champion’s estate, and the remaining $300,000 will be paid by the university. If the university paid any more, the settlement would have to be approved by the Florida Legislature.
As part of the settlement, the university will also name the marching band’s anti-hazing initiative for Mr. Champion and put up a commemorative plaque in a location chosen by Mr. Champion’s family. The university will also issue an apology that reads, in part: “On behalf of the FAMU Board of Trustees, please accept our sincere condolences and sympathies for the loss of your son, Robert Champion Jr., and please know that we are deeply sorry for your family’s and the world’s loss of such a fine and outstanding son, brother, musician, and individual.”
The family’s lawyer had demanded $8 million from the institution.
One night after a football game in November 2011, Mr. Champion was kicked, hit, and punched to death by his fellow band members. The incident was a source of immediate trauma for the university, which ousted several leaders in response. Some 15 former band members were charged with crimes, and several have been convicted, with some sentenced to prison time.
Rick Mitchell, a lawyer representing the university, had argued that Mr. Champion had signed pledges promising not to participate in hazing.