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Ruling reversed in hazing-related death of UL student

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 18:20:15-04

The case involving the death of a UL foreign exchange student can now move forward.

According to The Advocate, the lawsuit claims a Kappa Sigma Pledge was deprived of sleep from hazing and fell asleep at the wheel, killing the student.

On Nov. 6, 2016, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who was subjected to forced sleep-deprivation and other fraternity hazing activities during homecoming weekend fell asleep at the wheel and killed another student, according the lawsuit, which was filed in 2017. Rustam Nizamutdinova, a student from Uzbekistan, was walking down Johnston Street when he was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by Michael Gallagher, a Kappa Sigma pledge.

According to the paper, The lawsuit filed by Rustam's mother, Farida Shavkatova Nizamutdinova, claimed the fraternity and its members hazed pledges by, among other things, depriving them of sleep for 72 hours, during which time they served as designated drivers for drunk fraternity members.

In that trial court, the fraternity members and officers claimed that they, as individuals, had essentially no duty to refrain from hazing pledges, and owed no duties of care to Nizamutdinova. The trial judge granted their motions to dismiss.

Thursday, a judge reversed that lower court ruling.

"The opinion, according to details how fraternity members have duties to refrain from hazing, and duties to our client! The case – which has been stalled for years – can now move forward and we can achieve justice for Rustam’s mom," said The Fierberg National Law Group who represents Nizamutdinova stated in a press release.