Ohio Hazing, Sexual Assaults at Colleges and Universities Attorney

The Law Offices of Charles Boyk are currently accepting cases involving those who have been injured or killed on or around Ohio college campuses. Incidents of hazing, sexual assaults or alcohol poisoning are a sadly common occurrence. You shouldn’t go through the aftermath of a traumatic experience alone. Call The Law Offices of Charles Boyk for a free legal consultation today.

The State of Ohio has over 100 universities within its borders. Hundreds of thousands of students from all over the state and all over the country come to our colleges and universities for post-secondary education.

Toledo Ohio Hazing Attorney
Parents are entrusting these institutions with their children’s education and safety. While 18 might be the age where someone becomes legally an adult, most parents realize that true adulthood comes with life experience. We send our children off to college with the expectation that the infrastructure will be in place that will allow them to grow as adults. But often, teenagers experiencing life without adult supervision for the first time will succumb to bad influences. They will act in ways that are contrary to their best interests and quite often participate in activities that are dangerous. The most dangerous and most common activity that occurs on college campuses is binge drinking. While college drinking could almost be considered a normal part or the experience, a recent study shows that the consequences of underage drinking are far more serious than you would expect.

According to Mothers against Drunk Driving, an average of 1400 college age students are dying every year from alcohol poisoning. Alcohol also brings secondary dangers from its use, including injuries (an average of 500,000 per year), sexual assaults (an average of 70,000 per year) and unprotected sex (an average of 400,000 per year.) With binge drinking (consuming more than five drinks in a row for men, four drinks in a row for women) practically considered part of college life, these alarming statistics start to make sense.

A Culture of Permissiveness

Concerned parents can get a fairly good idea as to what sort of environment they are sending their children to by simply taking a look at the local bars and convenience stores. Bars with “all you can drink” specials or beers for a nickel apiece are a sure sign that the local community is profiting off of a heavy drinking culture. Similarly, convenience stores that sell cheap and low quality beer make house parties that much easier. In some cases, it’s cheaper for a person to buy a case of beer than it is for them to buy a case of soda. Stores that have banners and placards offering specials on Black Label, Natural Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and other cheap and easy to drink beers are seen frequently in college towns, especially in rural areas.

All it takes is one student or fraternity or sorority member who is of legal age, and there is no limit to the number of cases or kegs that can be brought back and served with impunity to anyone who happens to want a drink, whether they are legal or not.

Over-Drinking or Brutality as Initiation

Although there are specific laws against it, many fraternities, sororities and other collegiate organizations engage in hazing on a regular basis. Hazing is defined as an initiation process that involves harassment, and with a group of teenagers or young adults that are unaware of the serious consequences, these initiation rites can quickly get out of hand. Hazing incidents can occur with the use of alcohol or other strenuous physical activities, and the results can sometimes be fatal.

Eighteen year old Chad Meridith died in a hazing ritual at the University of Miami. He had a blood alcohol content of 0.13.

Matthew Carrington died in a hazing ritual where he was forced to drink over five gallons of water at California State University, Chico.

Phanta "Jack" Phoummarath, 18, died of alcohol poisoning at the University of Texas. Phoummarath was drinking to celebrate his initiation into a fraternity.

After drinking 24 shots of alcohol in under an hour and a half, 21 year old Michigan State University Student Bradley McCue collapsed with blood alcohol poisoning and died.

It can be argued without a doubt that these students weren’t acting responsibly, but what about the Universities? What monitoring programs were in place to ensure that underage drinking wasn’t taking place? What about the fraternities that disregarded the law? What about the bar where Bradley McCue died? Didn’t the bartender notice that all of this alcohol was being consumed by one person? And what about the bars with drinking specials, or the convenience stores that don’t bat an eye when one 21 year old comes in and purchases thirty cases of beer?

Alcohol and Rape

A recent study at Harvard University stated that one in twenty female students had reported being raped since the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year. Of these women, 72% of them reported that they were intoxicated at the time of the assault.

These alarming and sickening numbers only serve to underscore some very important questions. What are the colleges and universities doing about this? What sort of culture is in place where 5% of female students are being sexually violated?

Somehow, workshops and seminars don’t seem to be doing the job. Are there serious efforts to keep alcohol off of the campuses and out of the hands of minors? Are students who are caught violating existing alcohol laws being disciplined? Are students who are caught committing sexual assault being prosecuted, or is fear of bad publicity causing the universities to sweep it all under the rug?

All of these statistics can clearly make the case that more needs to be done.

Charles Boyk: Representing the Families of Victims

It isn’t enough to simply shake your head and wonder at the shame of it all when drinking or a hazing incident results in a death, injury or sexual assault. If there was no system in place on a college campus to prevent such a thing happening in the first place, or if the system is ignored, then this is a clear case of negligence. If an employee doesn’t bother to monitor the amount of alcohol that someone in their establishment is drinking and that person dies, that’s negligence. If a clerk at a store doesn’t bother to scrutinize an ID, or doesn’t check at all, that is negligence.

If you or a loved one has suffered a loss or an injury due to a hazing incident or the over consumption of alcohol, you may be eligible to compensation for your loss. The law offices of Charles Boyk have a team of experienced attorneys that will make sure that you receive the justice that you deserve.