College Hazing Results in Tragic Death of Student
Hazing is an activity that involves acts of coercion and humiliation. Victims of hazing events are often subject to inexcusable behavior by their peers. Not only has it caused trauma in the lives of many, but it has also caused deaths to occur. One victim of hazing, Timothy J. Piazza, was a student at Penn State University. He had his whole future ahead of him, but it was cut short because of a hazing incident. Since his untimely death in February of 2017, his parents have been outspoken about the need for change. They have been trying to get legislation to see hazing for what it truly is: felonious behavior. All the work they have put into getting stricter laws against hazing is now paying off for the couple.
It was not that long ago that the Senate Judiciary Committee in New Jersey agreed to pass Timothy J. Piazza’s Law, also known as S-3150. The Senate will now get to vote on behalf of the law. As long as legislation passes, hazing incidents will become felonies. Those charged and convicted of hazing crimes would face stricter penalties for their behavior. Jim Piazza has been incredibly vocal over the need for stricter laws against hazing because of the incidents that have taken place and the incidents that will continue to occur if there are no real laws set for hazing incidents.
Stricter Laws Against Hazing
With the Timothy J. Piazza Law, hazing is viewed as a criminal activity of the fourth-degree and possibly even the third-degree depending on the situation and the circumstances that surround it. Currently, hazing is only considered an aggravated crime when the victim sustains serious injuries. If penalties are stiffened, tragedies will be prevented. Senator Christopher Bateman sponsored the legislation and has believed in it since its inception. Bateman wants to make sure that other families never experience the kind of pain and suffering that Timothy Piazza’s parents have endured after losing their son to a hazing incident.
Timothy J. Piazza was a bright student with an even brighter future ahead of him. At just 19 years old, he was attending Penn State University and looking forward to the possibility of joining a fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. On February 2nd, fraternity brothers coerced Timothy and other pledges to drink up to 18 alcoholic beverages, including a combination of vodka, wine, and beer. Having consumed that much alcohol within such a short amount of time and while on an empty stomach, Piazza was heavily intoxicated and fell multiple times throughout the night, including on a staircase and on the stone floor. Despite their best efforts, medical professionals at the hospital were unable to save him. Timothy Piazza was officially pronounced on the morning of February 4, 2017.
His parents vowed to take action against the fraternity while attempting to get stricter laws in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, signed the law for the state of Pennsylvania in October of 2018. Timothy Piazza’s parents are now waiting for the same thing to happen in the state of New Jersey.
Contact a Haddonfield Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Hazing Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to hazing in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Andres & Berger, P.C. represent clients injured because of hazing in Haddonfield, Cinnaminson, Florence, Edgewater Park, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-437-4080 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 264 Kings Highway East in Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.