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FAMU moves to settle Champion hazing lawsuit

By Denise-Marie Ordway, The Orlando Sentinel –

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Trustees at Florida A&M University asked their attorney Thursday to try negotiating a settlement with the family of drum major Robert Champion, who died after being beaten during a hazing in Orlando last fall.

Trustees did not mention a settlement amount. They voted to allow Orlando-based attorney Rick Mitchell to move forward with mediation proceedings after Mitchell met with them behind closed doors for about an hour.

The university has not yet filed court documents responding to the wrongful-death lawsuit that the Champion family filed in Orlando recently.

Mitchell declined to comment to reporters about the case.

The other defendants named in the wrongful death lawsuit — the owner of the charter bus on which Champion was beaten Nov. 19 and also the bus driver — have asked the district court to dismiss the case.

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