Parents Speak Out As Justice For Hazing Death Is Denied


Every year since 1959, at least one student has died from hazing in the United States-usually these students are victims of rituals taken too far at fraternities. According to an unofficial database kept by a Franklin professor cited in a Dallas News article, six of these deaths have occurred at the University of Texas - Austin in the last thirty years. Outraged by the University of Texas' slow and unjust response to their son's death, the parents of twenty-year-old Nicky Cumberland, who died after a car accident leaving a hazing ritual in 2018, are taking a stand.

Nicky was leaving a Texas Cowboys retreat when he got into a car accident that left him in a coma. He died about a month later from his injuries. At this retreat, he was paddled and plied with alcohol by members of the fraternity. The retreat also encompassed animal cruelty, and the organization has a storied history of hazing and branding members. The hazing lasted until the middle of the night, at which point pledges drove two hours home. Tragically, Nicky didn't make it. 

The University of Texas took over two months to investigate the death. The group was active for eight months before the University president suspended activities. This suspension was originally set for six years but the sentence was later softened to potentially allow a resumption of activities in January 2022. The alumni association is still operating via a loophole to the dismay of the Cumberlands.

Other universities have enacted heavy punishments for hazing deaths, including suspending all Greek activities and even having the students involved arrested. The Cumberlands would be happy for some display of the sense of urgency these other universities have shown. They want expulsion on the table as a punishment for the students in charge and participating in these rituals.

The University of Texas hired a lawyer to do an investigation into the incident and exonerated the Cowboys from fault. The Cumberlands, however, disagree with this, suspecting the entire investigation was a sham.

To make matters worse, the University of Texas seems to favor the Cowboys over other organizations. They recently suspended another fraternity on campus for four years for far lesser crimes. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.396.3964

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Firm News & Updates

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories