Photo: Tysto/Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this year, Notre Dame was fined $77,000 by Indiana’s OSHA as punishment for the death of Declan Sullivan.Sullivan was a student videographer who died after the hydraulic scissor lift he was standing on while filming a Fighting Irish football practice toppled over in a windstorm.
Now, following an internal report that somehow determined no one was to blame, and settlement talks with the state, the fine has been reduced to $42,000.
But don’t worry – the school has to “launch a national education campaign on the safe use of scissor lifts.” Just in case anyone outside of South Bend isn’t aware that you shouldn’t make an intern stand on when there’s 50-mph winds in the area.
We still think it’s outrageous that no one with the Notre Dame football program was punished for what should have been a completely avoidable accident. Compare this case to one at Central Florida, where a football player died during practice. The circumstances surrounding that tragedy were much more complicated (and possibly unforeseeable), yet a jury just awarded the player’s family $10 million.
Sullivan’s family has stood by the university throughout the investigation and we would never be one to advocate litigation as the solution to all problems, but it seems clear that the team and the school have been let off the hook. Declan Sullivan should be alive today, but sadly, no one will ever be called to answer for that.
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