Hazing Lawsuits Are Set for Trial | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog
Two lawsuits alleging that Army and Navy Cadets were hazed while in the Army and Navy Academy located in Carlsbad, New Mexico are set for trial. Both lawsuits allege that the cadets were exposed to a systemic and sadomasochistic hazing at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad.
In one lawsuit, a cadet alleges that a group of other cadets forced another underage cadet to drink alcohol, and once the cadet inebriated, the other cadets beat him, and then “applied topical analgesic heat rub cream” to parts of his body and sodomized him with a broomstick. The plaintiff, who had been a cadet at the school for two semesters at the time of the alleged assault, had been subjected to harassment and beatings as soon as he entered the school. On his first day at the school and at other times, he was forced to play a game called “body shot,” in which he and another young cadet were told to fight each other or face fighting an older cadet.
In the second lawsuit, a former cadet sued a school administrator and the academy, among others, as sharing responsibility for sexual molestation of the cadet. The attorney for the cadets described a culture of secrecy at the Academy where cadets are discouraged from reporting wrongdoing in what amounts to a “conspiracy of silence” that also is encouraged by adults on campus.
These cases are prime examples of how hazing occurs. There is typically a sense of tradition attached to the behaviors that the members of the group use as some sort of rite of passage that the victim must endure before the victim is permitted to become an official member of the group. These rites of passage tend to focus on efforts to humiliate, embarrass and often times even involve physical or sexual assault that may cause permanent physical and mental injuries, and in some cases even result in death. Then, after the fact, the group involved often tends to “circle the wagon” to protect the organization and the individuals involved as part of the Code of Silence. Education and enforcement of anti-hazing policies and laws appear to be the best ways to combat this counter-culture and to expose these groups and behaviors. Holding those involved accountable is an important step towards stopping the cycle of abuse so that others will know that these illegal behaviors will not be tolerated.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed as a result of a hazing incident, it is important that you take action quickly to protect your rights. Communicating in writing with the appropriate organizational, educational and police authorities to properly and timely document your complaints is extremely important. Some schools and universities have extremely short deadlines (sometimes as short as 48 hours from the time of the incident) in their Codes of Conduct to report such conduct if you desire for the institution to take any action. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know your rights.
Montes Herald Law Group, LLP
Attorney: Rachel Montes
1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100
Irving, Texas 75063
Telephone (214) 522-9401
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