Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Notre Dame Fined $77,500 in Declan Sullivan Death

Declan Sullivan was filming a Notre Dame football practice from the lift in high winds that eventually toppled the structure. Sullivan, 20, died in the accident. Winds were reported at the time in the neighborhood of 51 miles per hour, and practice had been moved indoors the day before due to the heavy winds.

Indiana's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) has concluded its investigation into the death of Declan Sullivan, a Notre Dame student videographer who was filming a football practice when the hydraulic lift he was standing on collapsed.

OHSA has announced that Notre Dame will be fined $77,500 for workplace safety violations. The Fighting Irish were hit with a total of six violations, including "knowingly exposing its employees to unsafe conditions," the OSHA statement read.

"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."

In response to the incident, Notre Dame no longer uses the hydraulic lifts, also known as scissor lifts, at football practices. Instead, they have moved to a remote-controlled camera system. OSHA did not mince words, saying that Notre Dame was guilty of: "ignoring industry standards that could have prevented the death," the Chicago Tribune reports.

"The IOSHA findings are very helpful as we begin to conclude our own comprehensive investigation ... As part of the agency's review process, we will meet with officials in the next 15 days," said John Affleck-Graves, an executive vice president at Notre Dame, The Sporting News reports.

Related Resources: