In March, Notre Dame was fined $77,500 by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Association (IOSHA) for its role in the death of videographer Declan Sullivan in October. Notre Dame then contested IOSHA's ruling in April in hopes of finding a different solution to the problem, and on Friday there was a new agreement between the two parties. Part of which will see the fine reduced from $77,500 to $42,000.
In exchange for the smaller fine, the university is required to launch a national education campaign on the safe use of scissor lifts. The school will also make a donation to Sullivan’s memorial fund and designate a liaison between Notre Dame’s athletic department and the risk-management division to make sure all employees are properly trained.The Sullivan family also released a statement supporting Notre Dame and the decision.
The university will not disclose how much it will donate to the memorial fund, university spokesman Dennis Brown said.
“What remains ever-present throughout this process is the reality of the loss experienced by Declan Sullivan’s family and friends, all of whom remain in the thoughts and prayers of the Notre Dame community,” university spokesman Dennis Brown said in a statement. “Notre Dame is committed to doing all we can to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again and is working with IOSHA and others on a national education initiative on aerial-lift safety in regard to setup, training and weather-related risks.”
Now, while some people may see this as nothing more than Notre Dame having to pay less money for its role in Declan Sullivan's death, I feel that this is the better option for all sides to take. I'd rather the school pay a smaller fine and take a more proactive role in ensuring that a tragedy like this never happens again -- not only at Notre Dame but at every school around the country.