Lawsuit: Bethune-Cookman student's death caused by hazing

Student's mother claims sleep deprivation caused fatal crash

Published On: May 29 2013 08:08:02 AM EDT
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -

A wrongful death lawsuit claims Bethune-Cookman University failed to stop fraternity hazing that led to the death of a Marching Wildcat band member.

Marcus Thomas died in February 2012 when the car in which he was riding crashed into a utility pole in Daytona Beach. In a lawsuit filed in Volusia County Circuit Court, Thomas' mother says hazing by fraternity members subjected her son, the car's driver and other pledges to sleep deprivation.

The lawsuit says the car's driver fell asleep, leading to the fatal crash.

Bethune-Cookman officials tell The Daytona Beach News-Journal that they have a zero tolerance policy for hazing.

In court documents, the fraternity's attorney said the organization could not be held responsible.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.