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The Northwestern Hazing Scandal: Seeking Justice Amidst Controversy

Steve Levin and Ben Crump at Press Conference Representing Northwestern University Football Team

CHICAGO – October 5, 2023 The recent hazing scandal involving former Northwestern University football coach Pat Fitzgerald has been the center of heated discussions. As Chicago personal injury attorneys representing the victims of the Northwestern University hazing scandal, we at Levin & Perconti believe it is imperative to shed light on the matter, highlighting the evidence, the victims’ voices, and the responsibility of those in positions of power.

The Latest Update in the Northwestern Football Hazing Lawsuits:

Former Northwestern University football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, has initiated a lawsuit against the university, alleging wrongful termination linked to a hazing scandal. Fitzgerald, who had a 17-season tenure as the head coach, denies any knowledge of such activities. Contrarily, multiple former football players have also taken legal recourse against Northwestern accusing the university of negligence in preventing acts of abuse, racism, and hazing.

Northwestern University has taken a firm stance, emphasizing that Fitzgerald, given his role, should have been cognizant of the hazing events and should have intervened. The university’s statement pointedly mentioned, “As head coach of the football program for 17 years, Patrick Fitzgerald was responsible for the conduct of the program.” Their sentiment reverberated with the pain and regret of the student-athletes who endured the hazing.

In a climate rife with accusations and counter-accusations, Attorney Margaret Battersby Black of Levin & Perconti pointed out a disturbing revelation. She stated, “I have seen evidence from more than 80 victims of the Northwestern hazing scandal,” a number that overshadows the 22 lawsuits filed thus far. Levin & Perconti has filed 10 of those. This revelation not only underscores the severity of the allegations but also amplifies the voices of those victims who remain unheard.

Levin & Perconti In the Press:

Steven Levin, a founding partner of Levin & Perconti, expressed his dismay at the attempts to discredit the victims during interviews with the press. He passionately remarked, “What is really particularly troubling is for Fitz’s lawyer to get up and call dozens and dozens and dozens of former Northwestern football players opportunistic liars.” This assertion by Fitzgerald’s legal team was not just an affront to the survivors but also a blatant attempt to suppress their experiences and the truths they carried.

Levin also shed light on the underlying motivations behind Fitzgerald’s lawsuit, stating, “For him, it’s about money, and that’s what this suit is all about, and apparently, he and his lawyer will say anything to get his money for him.” Such actions not only highlight the skewed priorities of those involved but also further alienate and traumatize the victims.

Battersby Black, echoing Levin’s sentiments, articulated the deep-seated cultural issues this scandal unveiled. She said, “That [Fitzgerald] allows his lawyer to so callously call these former family members liars shows you everything that you need to know about the culture that he established at this school.” Her statement underscores the urgent need for cultural change, emphasizing the responsibility of those at the helm.

The Path Forward:

At Levin & Perconti, our commitment lies in seeking justice for the victims of the Northwestern University’s alleged football hazing and ensuring such incidents do not recur. The Northwestern hazing scandal serves as a reminder of the pressing need to address the deep-rooted issues within institutions and to hold those in power accountable.

The journey ahead may be fraught with challenges, but with resilience, evidence, and the unwavering voices of the survivors, justice will prevail. We remain dedicated to the cause, ensuring that the truth is not only heard but also acknowledged and acted upon.

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