Former UI FIJI brother’s trial delayed; lawsuit resolution possible

The trial of a former University of Iowa FIJI brother accused of hazing has been delayed, and a resolution to the related lawsuit may be on the horizon. The former brother, who has not been named, was charged with hazing after an incident at the FIJI fraternity house in the fall of 2022. The case has brought renewed attention to the issue of hazing on college campuses and the criminal and civil consequences that can result.

The trial, which was originally set to begin this month, has been postponed until later this year. The reason for the delay has not been disclosed, but it’s not uncommon for criminal trials to be pushed back due to various factors, such as the need for further investigation, the scheduling conflicts of the parties involved, or the possibility of a plea agreement.

In addition to the criminal charges, the former FIJI brother is also facing a civil lawsuit filed by the alleged victim and his family. The lawsuit accuses the former brother of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks damages for the physical and psychological harm allegedly suffered as a result of the hazing incident.

According to sources close to the case, a resolution to the lawsuit may be possible in the coming months. The parties have been engaged in mediation, a process in which a neutral third party facilitates a negotiation between the plaintiff and defendant in an attempt to reach a settlement. While mediation is confidential, it’s often a successful way to resolve lawsuits without the need for a trial.

If a settlement is reached, it would likely involve the former FIJI brother and/or the fraternity agreeing to pay a certain amount of money to the alleged victim and his family. In exchange, the lawsuit would be dismissed, and the parties would avoid the uncertainty and risks of a trial.

The outcome of the criminal trial and civil lawsuit will be closely watched by the University of Iowa community and beyond. Hazing is a serious issue that can have severe consequences, and this case underscores the importance of holding individuals and organizations accountable for their actions.

As the situation unfolds, it’s a reminder that hazing is never acceptable and that those who engage in it must face the consequences. It’s also a call to action for fraternities and other organizations to take steps to prevent hazing and create a safe and respectful environment for all members.