Blog Entry

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

Posted on: December 27, 2010 6:20 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In the wake of the Declan Sullivan accident that rocked both the Notre Dame campus and the college football world as a whole, Notre Dame announced that it would not be using scissor lifts -- the raised platforms frequently used by football programs to film practices from considerable heights -- until the investigation of Sullivan's death was complete. Nobody raised an eyebrow, as any investigation of an incident this serious should thoroughly examine every factor possible. It would have been worse from both a PR and legal standpoint if Notre Dame had said it wouldn't suspend use of the lifts.

The thing of it is, though, coaches use lifts for a reason: they're enormously useful, and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly wasn't exactly clamoring to get Sullivan down from the lift before that day's terrible accident. So it's not exactly surprising to see that with Sun Bowl preparation in full swing, the Irish are back to using the lifts, before the Sullivan investigation is complete. Here's a picture from the Chicago Tribune 's Brian Hamilton from earlier today:

Notre Dame would later announce that while the Sullivan investigation is ongoing, it received clearance to use the lift from its office of risk management. This makes sense. If the issue with Sullivan's death was that scissor lifts are inherently unsafe in any weather condition and are liable to kill their occupants at any moment, every other football team in America would have stopped using them too. Nobody has bothered arguing that, however, because it's pretty obvious that the Sullivan accident was caused by the lift being used in substantially higher winds than regulations permit. All across the country, football programs follow regulations in the use of these lifts every day (and have done so for decades) without any incident. If anything, this development from Notre Dame only confirms what was widely suspected: that Sullivan's death was not caused by a random, unforeseeable equipment failure on a catastrophic level, but by misuse of that equipment. As long as Notre Dame uses the lift properly, in all likelihood, a similar accident will never happen again.

The bad news for Notre Dame, then, is that such a development only strengthens any possible wrongful death lawsuit, should the Sullivans go down that road. Again, Notre Dame is openly acknowledging the obvious: using scissor lifts under normal weather conditions is acceptable, but the conditions under which Sullivan was sent up that day were sufficently bad that he (obviously) should not have gone up. It's hard to draw any conclusion from that statement that doesn't directly implicate Notre Dame as liable for Sullivan's tragic death.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:30 pm

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

Fortunate enough i discovered , now this fantastic blog, can even make likely to take a note of this can so we could come along so that you can mostly.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2010 2:39 pm

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

mediocre - not good not bad.  The big bad Catholic football machine begs to be mediocre.

56% winning percentage the last decade = mediocre.  Try to keep up with the maths. 

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2010 2:36 pm

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

The SEC network is milking this story for all its worth.  Under the banner of defending the helpless and abused by the big, bad Catholic (mediocre) football machine."
I'm pretty sure the SEC and it's fans are thinking about winning the national title (again) and their respective bowl games. Maybe you guys will be too someday when you get over the hatin' and the jealousy. Or when you said 'SEC' did you mean the group 'Seduce Every Child'? Isn't that one of those big bad Catholic priest groups?

The "SEC network" was a dig on CBS, not necessarily the SEC football conference, which I neither hate or am I jealous of.  Good on you "conference" fans who have loyalty to no team but all of them when it suits you.  This year it's riding the Auburn bandwagon and last year 'Bama and so on. 

Stay classy on bashing people's religions though.  You're a model American. 

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2010 9:08 am

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

As a construction electrician for 25 years, I've worked out of scissor lifts hundreds of times. We all know that Declans death was a terrible tragedy. But there are so many issues that haven't been talked about, and when we start hearing about lawsuits and lawyers they should discussed. Granted scissor lifts are not very stable, they tend to be top heavy and the higher you go the worse it gets. How much equipment did Declan have with him and how heavy was it? Was the lift always set up in the same spot or did ND move it from place to place? Sounds silly to those of you who have never been in one but it does matter. Scissor lifts are designed for use on very, very level ground and generally are not used outside unless concrete is present. Was he tied off or secured with a lanyard? Was he on level ground? Was he driving the lift to different spots that day under the orders on Kelly. Did he get thrown from the lift or did the lift fall on him? And what was the actual cause of death? Head injury or something else. I am no fan of ND much less Kelly but it should be obvious to everyone following this story that winning is everything in South Bend. Staying so focused on running plays so Kelly can be a hero his first year pathetic. Had the ND coaching staff used a little common sense Declan would still be with us

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2010 8:13 am

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

Hasn't ND ever heard of a boom lift? Scissor lifts are inherently unstable in even a light wind and have no business being use outdoors. Maybe it's cheaper to rent a scissor lift?

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 5:56 pm

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

Notre Dame's "investigation" is not going to negatively affect any claim the Sullivan's want to make.  How reasonable their claim is, well that's another matter.  ND and the Roman Catholic Church does not want any worse press so the Sullivan's can weigh their requests.  Good Catholics that they are I imagine they will be more than reasonable.  Let ND make an offer. 
I would expect the death and accompanying emotional harm (due to ND's negligence) that Declan's family has only begun to absorb would be worth a benefit in the range of $10 million dollars.
Given the family's love of ND and a daughter attending there, I imagine ND would offer a certain number of scholarships in his memory that could be used even by the family if desired.

I am not sure if the picture accompanying the article would look better or worse if there was a pole with a wind sock attached.

Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 2:40 pm

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

Scissor lifts have nothing to do with the man's death at ND. I have worked industrial construction for years on equipment just like it.  It has to do with the BAD judgement of the ND's supervisory personel in charge of this situation.  The kid was told to go do his "job" so he did what he was told and got killed, it is tragic and those responsible SHOULD but WON"T take responsiblity.  That includes Kelly if he pressured this unfortunate man's supervisor into making him go up in unsafe conditions.  Before anyone starts screaming the company line think about the family that just lost there son, it's tragic to say the least.
P.S. I have seen the same thing happen in the industrial world for the same reasons....Being #1 = $$$$$ = irresponsiblity & bad decissions

Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2010 2:12 pm

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

A helicopter to film practices... What a great idea.  Not sure why all teams don't do this.  I bet all of your friends call you the "brilliant idea guy" because you are full of 'em right?

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2010 12:35 pm

Notre Dame back to using scissor lifts?

This just in!   Brian Kelly was also the 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll.

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:17 am
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