Notre Dame sued by par­ents of stu­dent who fell

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS -

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The par­ents of a Univer­sity of Notre Dame fresh­man se­verely in­jured in a 2019 fall in a cam­pus dor­mi­tory dur­ing a party filed a law­suit Tues­day against the school, which they claim con­doned a “quasi-fra­ter­nity at­mos­phere.”

The law­suit filed in St. Joseph County, In­di­ana, by Stephen and Deb­bie Ten­nant of north sub­ur­ban Gurnee, claims the univer­sity put their son, Sean, 20, at risk. Sean Ten­nant, who was 18 at the time, sur­vived the 30-foot fall on a stair­well in Sorin Hall, but suf­fered a trau­matic brain in­jury that left him with “a cat­a­strophic de­cline in neu­rocog­ni­tive and func­tional abil­i­ties,” ac­cord­ing to the law­suit.

A Notre Dame spokesman on Tues­day said the univer­sity had yet to be served with a copy of the law­suit and had no com­ment.

The law­suit ac­cuses the Ro­man Catholic univer­sity of neg­li­gence, al­leg­ing the adult rec­tor was not in­side the res­i­dence hall and failed to take pre­cau­tions to en­sure the safety of res­i­dents de­spite know­ing about a party.

“This is a kid who never drank in high school,” said at­tor­ney Peter Flow­ers. Ten­nant “was in­tro­duced to al­co­hol at Notre Dame. They en­cour­age the kids to act like the dorms are fra­ter­ni­ties, where you’ve got kids of le­gal age mixed in with un­der­age kids and inad­e­quate poli­cies and pro­ce­dures in place, creat­ing an un­rea­son­ably dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ment.”

The univer­sity does not have fra­ter­ni­ties or soror­i­ties and requires stu­dents to live in a res­i­dence hall in their first three years.

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