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Fine levied against Irish in wake of student’s death reduced

Scissor Lift

While it remains a head-scratcher that Notre Dame would openly welcome negative PR by appealing a fine stemming from the death of a student, said appeal has proven successful and the private university’s coffers will take a little bit less of a hit.

So congrats on that, I guess.

It was announced Friday that the Indiana Occupational Health & Safety Administration has reduced the university’s fine to $42,000.  The original fine was $77,500, a result of six safety violations slapped on the university by IOSHA following the death of Declan Sullivan, a videographer who was killed when a hydraulic lift from which he was filming a football practice toppled over in 53-mph winds.

In addition to the reduction in monetary responsibility — and the reduction from a “knowing” violation to a “serious” violation — Notre Dame will also be required to make a substantial contribution to a memorial for Sullivan as well as, the Associated Press writes, launch a nationwide education program directed at other schools about the hazards of the outdoor use of scissor lifts.

Following a four-month investigation into Sullivan’s Oct. 2010 death, IOSHA released its findings this past March, writing that “Notre Dame did not establish and maintain conditions of work that were reasonably safe for its employees that were free from recognized hazards that caused or were likely to cause death or serious injury.”

And, for that, they were rewarded with a roughly 40-percent reduction in their fine.  Yeah, that makes complete and total sense.


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18 Responses to “Fine levied against Irish in wake of student’s death reduced”
  1. mydixienormus says: Jul 1, 2011 12:31 PM

    $42K for killing someone? What a deal.

    OSHA needs sharper teeth!

  2. bertenheim says: Jul 1, 2011 12:58 PM

    Will there be “a substantial contribution to a memorial” for Elizabeth Seeburg as well?

  3. halo81 says: Jul 1, 2011 1:56 PM

    Notre Dame will be “required” to make a substantial contribution…

    They were making the contribution regardless. This is a fact that the Sullivan family has repeatedly brought up in interviews as they’ve continued to speak to the (again, fact) that Notre Dame has paid more attention to making sure the FAMILY is alright than WORRYING ABOUT THEIR PUBLIC IMAGE in this.

    So, while the John Taylor’s of the world might gag at this, Notre Dame doesn’t care about the negative publicity. They care about the SULLIVAN FAMILY and that’s it.

    A school has come out, admitted their guilt, let government operated organizations decide their fate and simply made sure to take care of the Sullivan family. I must be missing what they’re doing wrong.

    As far as the idiot bring Lizzy Seeburg into this, you’ve got to be kidding me. I won’t even bother getting into that situation. Campus police, local police, state police, state prosecutors, the Indiana District Attorney … everyone saw through that.

    Apparently you missed it. Big difference between feeling sorry for the young girl and deflecting blame, something the father was aching to do on national television.

    Has to be said.

    Flame away Irish haters.

  4. edgy says: Jul 1, 2011 2:16 PM

    Oh really? Admitted their guilt — in what world are you talking about…

  5. bertenheim says: Jul 1, 2011 3:35 PM

    Compensation is not an admission of culpability. The Fathers of the Holy Cross need to don a little sack cloth.

  6. rbc79 says: Jul 1, 2011 4:10 PM

    To edgy: here is a quote by rev Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame.

    “The university, then, is collectively responsible. Insofar as the President is responsible for the university as a whole, I am the individual who bears the most responsibility, and I accept that responsibility.”

    That quote came from an earlier article on

  7. halo81 says: Jul 1, 2011 4:27 PM

    Edgy –

    Go back to, lie to kids like Darius Fleming, Sean Cwynar, Graham Pocic, Spencer Merritt, Richie Schumacher, Chad Sprayberry, Brian Mulroe, etc, etc, etc and do what you do, act like a scumbag trying to make money off of 17-year olds that HATE YOUR FREAKING GUTS because you steal their thunder and tell lies about them.

    Your word means as much to me and anyone that knows you as the word of a freaking terrorist.

    You’re scum in the business. A literal piece of garbage who has ruined kid’s recruiting experiences for YEARS.

    Piss off.

  8. bertenheim says: Jul 1, 2011 4:47 PM

    The alums would not have compelled Father Jenkins to dive on that grenade for Gerry Faust.

  9. mike2347 says: Jul 1, 2011 9:47 PM

    read the story in the chicago tribune.kid tweeting this may be my last day alive.rep from nd says the kid was just!

  10. edgy says: Jul 2, 2011 3:24 AM

    Again, saying something is true won’t make it true, you boob. I’m not that person and you can ask them and they’ll tell you the same. I am not now nor have I ever been this edgy at and you should either put up or shut up on this issue. Deal with me based on the fact that I’m who I am here and not some stupid ass assumption that you’ve made. As I said before, other than looking at the recruiting info at the site, I’ve never done anything there.

    Deal with the issue at hand and that the Irish didn’t accept ANYTHING and tried to get the entire fine eliminated not just reduced and I reported that HERE when they first talked about it so don’t get all holier-than-thou.

  11. dmarado says: Jul 2, 2011 9:54 AM

    Clever play on words but somewhat disrespectful to the dead young man and his family. Why not just “Fine levied on Irish FOR student’s death reduced”?

  12. halo81 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:05 PM


    Um, yeah, this is the first time you’ve responded to it and/or you’ve waited until the thread completely dies.

    It’s funny though, you type the same, hate Notre Dame the same, seem to have your knowledge on Indiana/Illinois just like EdgyTim … but, you’re not him, right?

    Yeah, I believe you.

    So do the rest of the people that are re-directed reading this on NDNation.

  13. edgy says: Jul 2, 2011 6:20 PM

    Listen, you boob, I’ve been busy so that’s why I responded when I did.

    If ND had accepted their guilt, they’d have made out a check for $77k and thanked their lucky stars that the state couldn’t give them a much larger fine and that the parents didn’t sue them back to the Stone Ages. Also, it should be noted that on that very same day, they thought that the lift was too much for a female student so they saved a life there but they KNEW that it wasn’t the kind of situation that they should have put the kid in. The school and Kelly are damn lucky that they didn’t get taken to the cleaners. Oh and to you and the others that are crying: John is ONLY reporting what is being said by others, which is that as part of the settlement, Notre Dame is to make a sizable donation to a fund for the kid. This is being reported by NBC Sports, Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and any other sports site that got the press release so lay off John on that.

    Again, you boob, you can lie from NOW ON but the fact is, I don’t have ANYTHING to do with this guy. Ask the guy what he thinks about USC because he may just be some guy in Illinois that likes a Big 10 team and that would make his hatred of ND easy to explain.

  14. halo81 says: Jul 2, 2011 7:33 PM

    Boob … cute.

    And while John reports from other sites; I talk Ali and Barry Sullivan about it personally.

    Yeah, I’ll go with my sources. The difference between you and me is that I’m actually in the game while you’re some hack who pretends to be.

  15. rgarbonzo says: Jul 3, 2011 11:48 AM

    Hey next time tell the whole story CFT jackass… from the SBT

    More importantly, Notre Dame will launch a nationwide educational program that’s directed at other universities and educational organizations about the dangers of outdoor scissor lifts. The program must be launched within 180 days.

    “Notre Dame has said multiple times publicly that it wants to ensure nothing like Declan’s death occurs again on its watch, and that it wants to honor Declan’s memory,” IDOL Commissioner Lori Torres said in a written statement. “We believe this unique agreement allows Notre Dame to live up to those statements, and it allows our agency to carry out its primary mission, which is to advance the safety of employees throughout the state.”

    Speaking on behalf of the Sullivan family, Mike Miley, Declan’s uncle, had this to say to the South Bend Tribune:

    “The university contines to be forthright in communicating with the family,” Miley said. “Every step they are taking is in conjunction with the family needs.”

  16. 1historian says: Jul 8, 2011 10:19 AM

    Immediately after the tragedy Fr. Jenkins assumed responsibility for it. What other choice did he have? None.

    FYI – I spent 36 years in construction, 3 of them in the South Bend area. I know from experience that the winds around there can be very scary. In my 36 years I spent some time up on scissor-lifts. I know from experience that they can be very scary, wind or not.
    At all times if there was work to be done outside on scissor-lifts there was someone on the job who had the authority to say – “It’s too windy. NO ONE goes up on the scissor lifts today.” And his word was LAW.

    There should have been someone at Notre Dame overseeing those kids who had the authority to say “no one goes up today.” The fact that there was no such person to me is inexcusable.

  17. 1historian says: Jul 11, 2011 8:24 AM

    There is no shortage of Notre Dame haters, nor is there a shortage of those for whom Notre Dame can do no wrong.

    And there are people like me who lovwe Notre Dame but are profoundly disappointed with here because this should

  18. 1historian says: Jul 11, 2011 8:33 AM

    There is no shortage of Notre Dame haters, nor is there a shortage of those for whom she can do no wrong.

    And there are people like me who love Notre Dame but are profoundly disappointed with her because this should NOT have happened.

    But it DID happen. Why? Because Notre Dame did not take the proper safety precautions – there should have been an overseer on the site AT ALL TIMES with the authority to say that “No one goes up today.”

    20 year old kids think they are going to live forever – at the time of the accident he was at the maximum extension of the lift – 40′. The kid should have not gone up that day but he did, and one of the reasons was the fact that there was no one with the authority to say “no one goes up.”

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