BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A former fraternity pledge says a hazing ritual landed him in the hospital. Now he’s filed a $4 million lawsuit against the Coppin State fraternity.
Meghan McCorkell has details on the suit.
This is the second hazing lawsuit filed against a local fraternity in the past two months.
Beaten with canes, forced to do pushups on bottle caps and have a corkscrew drilled into his hand. That’s the punishment a man pledging Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity at Coppin State University says he was forced to endure.
Johnny Powell says he was left bruised after several beating sessions at the hands of fraternity members. He claims one alleged attack put him in the hospital for five days.
Now Powell has filed a $4 million lawsuit against Kappa Alpha Psi, claiming battery and hazing, false imprisonment and gross negligence.
Hazing is illegal in Maryland and those convicted can face up to six months behind bars and a $500 fine.
This lawsuit comes on the heels of another hazing suit filed against Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Bowie State University. Pledge Kevin Hayes says he was punched, hit and slapped.
“It broke me down. It hurt. It’s something I never felt before,” Hayes said.
His attorney says the fraternities need to do more to protect pledges.
“They have a duty under Maryland law to make him safe,” said attorney Jimmy Bell.
Coppin State does have an anti-hazing policy. The lawsuit has some students shocked.
“It just surprises me because I didn’t think it would happen here,” one said.
Powell has filed suit against both the local chapter and national branch of Kappa Alpha Psi
We did contact the national branch of Kappa Alpha Psi about the lawsuit. They had no comment.
In a statement to WJZ, Coppin State officials say, “While the university is not named as a defendant in the case, Coppin State University does not tolerate or condone any incident of hazing or abuse and takes accusations of such seriously.”