Maryland family suing University of Notre Dame following career-ending football injury

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - He will never play football again, and he says it is the fault of The University of Notre Dame. A Maryland man is seeking compensation for a career-ending knee injury he suffered while attending a Notre Dame football camp four years ago.

John-Vincent Louis says the treatment he received from the University was barbaric.

“I’ve lost a considerable amount of my faith, my self esteem and my confidence,” said John-Vincent Louis.

Louis saw a future on the gridiron. He says his dream came to an end in South Bend in 2013. The Maryland native tore a ligament in his leg at a University of Notre Dame summer football camp. He says it happened on an uneven field and claims the university was negligent in its response to the injury. His family is suing the university.

“I would like to know why they treated me in such a barbaric manner and they just pushed me to the side,” said Louis. “And I would like to know why they feel it’s OK to not inform parents of when their son or daughter is injured.”

John-Vincent’s mom, Michelle, was his emergency contact and was just down the street when the injury occurred. She says she didn’t learn of the injury until she went to pick him up at the end of the day. Michelle did sign a risk waiver form before the camp.

“I don’t care if they’re a powerhouse. I don’t care. What’s right is right. You don’t do this to children. You don’t throw them away like they’re garbage,” said Louis.

The family is asking for compensation beyond the medical insurance coverage offered under the camp waiver. Notre Dame denies many of the family’s Claims. According to court documents, the defense team says the injury was inherent in the nature of football and claims for anything other than medical insurance coverage from the University do not belong in the case.

George Washington University Law professor Stephen Saltzburg says it will be difficult for the Louis’ to prove negligence from the university.

“Given the dangerous nature of football, you know, the defense is almost surely going to be: ‘We used reasonable care. Football is a hazardous sport, and unfortunately there was an injury,’” said Saltzburg.

He says most cases like this are settled out of court and do not make it to trial, but it could if the Louis’ are acting on principle rather than monetary reasons.

“If the plaintiffs actually believe that, ‘forget the money...what Notre Dame did here was a threat to young people and the word should go out.’ Then they’ll have a trial,” said Saltzburg.

The Louis family attorney wouldn’t say how much they are seeking in damages. There is no word on if the case will go to trial. The attorney says they waited this long to file the suit because it has taken four years to gather relevant medical records and other information to build the case.

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