Ensuring Justice for Victims of Hazing in Michigan & Nationwide
The Attorneys at The Fierberg National Law Group Specialize in Representing Individuals and Their Families Who Have Been Victims of Hazing Injury and Death.
Our dedicated legal team is committed to providing unwavering support, fierce advocacy, and comprehensive legal representation to hazing victims and their families. With a profound understanding of the physical, emotional, and psychological toll that hazing inflicts, we strive to hold accountable the individuals, organizations, and institutions responsible. Together, let’s embark on a journey toward justice, healing, and a safer future. Your story matters, and so does your right to reclaim your life.
We Are the National Leader in Fraternity Hazing & Sexual Violence Cases.
Since 1993, The Fierberg National Law Group has fought for those injured or killed as a result of dangerous misconduct in fraternities. On behalf of our clients, we have:
- Obtained millions of dollars in compensation for our clients from numerous national fraternities, local chapters, fraternity members, and universities.
- Pushed universities and fraternities to reform.
- Established legal precedent and legislation to help other victims and families.
- Compelled universities and fraternities to publish the truth about the nature and extent of the dangers facing students, women, and the campus community.
- Forced fraternities to fund independent non-profits established by our clients to educate the public and to protect students and families.
Our lawyers have held fraternities, fraternity chapters, fraternity members, and schools accountable to hazing victims in state and federal courts across the country, facts readily confirmed by publicly available information in the media, court records, and other sources. The work continues, on behalf and in honor of the first family we represented in 1993, and for every single one thereafter. We know this to be true.
We Fight for Survivors, Victims, and Their Families.
The statistics confirming the unprecedented risks of fraternities and fraternity hazing are staggering. At least one student has died from fraternity hazing every year since 1970.
The Arizona Supreme Court has held: “We are hard-pressed to find a setting where the risk of an alcohol-related injury is more likely than from underage drinking at a university fraternity party the first week of the new college year.” By the late 1980s, “fraternities and sororities were ranked by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as the sixth-worst risk for insurance companies — just behind hazardous-waste-disposal companies.”
Despite these risks, for decades, fraternities have refused to make changes necessary to render their activities safe. Instead, they use their stable of lawyers (headquartered in California and Texas) to shield them from legal responsibility for hazing, sexual assault and rape, binge drinking, automobile accidents, premises liability, and other misconduct, preventing countless victims from achieving justice. In many circumstances, their lawyers have prevailed in cases against the very same fraternities that we have defeated in court. Hence, we strongly encourage families to search for and retain qualified attorneys when pursuing claims against a university or Greek organization: The stakes are too high to do otherwise. Many of our clients are willing to discuss these issues with you directly because they have traveled this path, learned so much about their industry and the law, and will forever work to change this dangerous industry and save lives. They are happy for us to put you in touch with them.
If you or your child has been the victim of fraternity hazing, you need to know that you are not alone. The legal team at The Fierberg National Law Group has been representing victims throughout the United States for over 30 years.
Additional Help & Resources:
- AHA! Movement: The AHA! Movement was established in Pleasant Hill, California on January 29, 2015, to bring awareness to the dangers of hazing, and to prevent injury and death by changing the culture of those organizations who participate in the humiliating, degrading, torturous and potentially deadly acts of hazing.
- Aware Awake Alive: A foundation honoring Carson Starkey who left this life on December 2, 2008, due to acute alcohol poisoning following a fraternity initiation ritual at the Cal Poly chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Their mission is to prevent the loss of life to alcohol poisoning by educating teens, young adults, and parents on the dangers and symptoms of alcohol overdose.
- With Us: The Starkey family wanted to find ways to help address the many other critical social issues facing students and institutions of higher education. To broaden the influence and mission of Aware Awake Alive and build upon its successful peer-to-peer education and intervention model, a new organization was established: WITH US — The Center for Bystander Intervention.
- Clery Center: A national nonprofit dedicated to helping college and university officials meet the safety standards and regulations of the Jeanne Clery Act.
- Collin’s Law: The Ohio Anti-Hazing Act, named after Collin Wiant who died on November 12, 2018, after collapsing at the Ohio University off-campus fraternity house of Sigma Pi, makes acts of hazing a second-degree misdemeanor and acts of hazing that include coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs or abuse that result in serious physical harm a felony of the third degree. Collin’s Law also requires reporting to law enforcement and prevention education offered by the university to students, employees, and advisors.
- The Gordie Center: On September 17th, 2004, Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr. (“Gordie”) was found dead at the Chi Psi fraternity house at the University of Colorado at Boulder after taking part in “Bid Night”. Gordie died just 3 weeks after arriving on campus. The mission of the University of Virginia’s Gordie Center is to end hazing and substance misuse among college and high school students nationwide.
- Hank Nuwer: Hank Nuwer began keeping a database about hazing deaths in 1975 and maintains the Hazing Deaths database. The first shorter database appeared in his article for Human Behavior magazine in 1978. His first hard-hitting, book-length investigation of hazing deaths appeared in 1990 and was titled, Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing. Hank’s crusading journalism to eradicate hazing was honored by the NGLA and HazingPreventionNetwork.org
- Hazing Prevention Network: Hazing Prevention Network, formerly known as HazingPrevention.Org, is a national non-profit dedicated to empowering people to prevent hazing. Their goal is to educate people about the dangers of hazing, advocate for change, and engage the community in strategies to prevent hazing.
- iamstonefoltz FOUNDATION: Tragically, Bowling Green University sophomore Stone Foltz passed away on March 7th, 2021, from alcohol poisoning after Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity ritual activities. His family honored Stone’s wishes he made at the age of 16 when he decided to be an organ and tissue donor. As a recognized 501(c) organization, the iamstonefoltz FOUNDATION’s primary mission is to eradicate hazing.
- Love Like Adam: A foundation honoring Adam Oakes who tragically died on February 26, 2021, after a hazing ritual at the Virginia Commonwealth University chapter of Delta Chi. Their vision is to support, educate, and equip graduating seniors and their families with the transition from high school to higher education.
- Max Gruver Foundation: In honor of Max Gruver who died on September 14, 2017, of alcohol poisoning and aspiration after a hazing ritual at the Louisiana State University chapter of Phi Delta Theta, this non-profit organization works to end hazing on college campuses.
- The Max Gruver Act: Named after Max, this act creates the crime of criminal hazing with offenders facing either a fine up to $1,000, imprisonment up to six months or both; if the hazing results in serious bodily injury, death, or if the hazing involves forced alcohol consumption that results in a blood alcohol level of at least .30, offenders will face a fine up to $10,000 and imprisonment up to five years. The bill also amends current hazing law to apply to any organization in an education institution and specifies what defines hazing.
- The REACH Act: The purpose of the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing Act (REACH) is to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education to disclose hazing incidents. [S. 744, H.R. 2525]
- StopHazing: A trailblazer in hazing research and the leader in data-driven strategies that support safe and welcoming school, campus, and organizational climates.
- Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform: In honor of Timothy Piazza, who died on February 4, 2017, after falling down a flight of stairs following his consumption of at least 18 drinks in 82 minutes – fracturing his skull and spleen – during initiation night at the Penn State University chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, this multidisciplinary research center produces actionable data to give practitioners the evidence needed to enact meaningful change on their campuses.
- Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law: This Pennsylvania anti-hazing legislation which honors Timothy, establishes a tiered penalty system with stricter punishments for hazing; classifies new types of hazing; holds both individuals and organizations accountable for hazing; and requires secondary schools and institutions of higher education to publish anti-hazing policies and publicly report hazing violations. In addition, the statute provides immunity for individuals in need of medical assistance as a result of hazing or underage alcohol consumption, as well as for those who seek help for others.
- Timothy J Piazza’s Law: On August 24, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed this into law, requiring public and non-public middle schools and high schools, as well as higher education institutions, to adopt anti-hazing policies and penalties for violations of the policies. With Timothy J. Piazza’s Law in effect, hazing in New Jersey is upgraded from a fourth-degree crime to a third-degree crime when it results in death or serious bodily injury; and hazing in New Jersey is upgraded from a disorderly persons offense to a fourth-degree crime if it results in bodily injury.
- We Miss You Matt On February 5, 2005, Chico State University student Matthew Carrington died of cardiac dysrhythmia caused by a water intoxication ritual that was a 20-year tradition at the Chi Tau fraternity.
- Matt’s Law: Matt’s Law is California’s Anti-Hazing Law which honors Matthew by allowing for felony prosecutions when serious injuries or deaths result from hazing.