Terrance Bennett sought justice against Johnson & Wales University’s Tau Mu chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, and specific members of the brotherhood, alleging negligent and reckless misconduct left him hospitalized for nearly a month and required surgery to remove necrotized flesh and skin grafts.
Bennett suffered “severe and life-altering” physical, emotional, social and educational damages as a result of the hazing.
Defendants were accused of participating in, authorizing, encouraging and permitting the misconduct and then failing to get him needed emergency medical treatment. The hazing rituals included Bennett being held down and branded; extreme beatings; having cigarettes put out on his skin; sleep deprivation; being forced to eat raw onions and sticks of butter until he threw up and then having the vomit poured over him; being pelted with eggs and rotten food; and being forced to consume large amounts of alcohol. In addition, he was degraded and dehumanized and forced to do calisthenics.
Bennett was in so much pain he could not walk or sit. He developed jaundice and fever. Bennett fell asleep or became unconscious, only to wake up in the intensive care unit at the hospital. He was hospitalized for a month and underwent surgery to remove necrotized flesh and skin grafts.