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Family suing Notre Dame after son suffers "catastrophic injury"

The parents of a former Notre Dame student are suing the university after the student suffered a traumatic brain injury following a fall at a residence hall in January 2019.

Sean Tennant fell about 30-feet over a stairwell balcony in Sorin Hall on January 27, 2019, during a party. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, and a decline in his ability to care for himself, the lawsuit states.

Tennant's fall happened while alcohol was being served and consumed by students, including under age students, at a party at Sorin Hall, the lawsuit alleges.

The family alleges the university encourages a "quasi-fraternity atmosphere" at the residence halls on campus.

In the suit, the family alleges the dorm's rector knew the party was going to happen and failed to take precautions to ensure the safety of the students under his supervision.

The lawsuit alleges the university was negligent for failing to update the stairwell and railings to current building code and upgrade with modern safeguards and for failing to warn Tennant of the dangers of Sorin Hall.

The family is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, plus costs of the lawsuit.

We contacted Notre Dame for comment on the lawsuit.

Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications at Notre Dame responded, "The university has yet to be served with the complaint and reserves comment.

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