As an experienced wrongful death attorney, hearing of a young life lost is one of the most difficult parts of my job. What’s worse, many of these accidents are caused by actions that should have been avoided.
Such a case from Eastern Pennsylvania grabbed my attention recently, as a Baruch College student died in a hazing ritual.
Nineteen-year-old Chun (Michael) Deng suffered a massive head injury during a violent hazing game held by the Pi Delta Psi fraternity. Deng, a student in New York City, was on a trip with his fraternity brothers.
The fraternity was conducting a ritual called the “glass ceiling.” Deng was blindfolded and wore a 20-pound bag of sand. He was supposed to head toward the voice of someone calling him, while other fraternity members physically tried to prevent him.
During this ritual, he fell backward, struck his head, and was unconscious and unresponsive.
Some members say they saw Deng get pushed but didn’t see who did it.
Despite his condition, his fraternity brothers did not seek medical help right away. They carried him inside, researched his symptoms online, and then finally called the closest hospital. According to a New York Daily News article, it was nearly two hours before he received any medical care.
At the hospital, Deng was eventually determined brain dead, requiring a breathing machine to keep him alive.
Baruch College has a zero-tolerance hazing policy. The institution is cooperating with law enforcement.
As a Brooklyn, New York, wrongful death attorney, this case is so frustrating because hazing is truly a careless, cruel, and unnecessary act. There is no reason that Deng should have died, especially to gain the approval of his “brothers.”
If you have questions about this hazing wrongful death or any other wrongful death case in New York, be sure to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney today.
Photo Credit: Kurt Wagner via Compfight cc