Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Expanded Liability for Hazing: A Teaching Tool

Recent appellate court decisions have extended liability for personal injuries sustained by college and university students during fraternity initiation hazing activities from the individuals engaged in those hazing activities and/or their local fraternity chapter, to the national fraternity authorizing the local chapter and the college or university permitting the fraternity to operate as a student organization. This paper is designed to explore the outer boundaries of personal injury law in the context of those hazing cases. The paper begins with a composite of the leading cases expanding liability for hazing activities, and poses questions which (1) explore the varying legal theories imposing liability for hazing related injuries, (2) investigate the social host rule imposing liability for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors, (3) examine the application of traditional tort defenses, and (4) suggest steps students, fraternities, and colleges and universities might take to reduce liability.