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Remaining Boat Club lawsuits heard today

Teresa Fralish | Tuesday, September 23, 2003

After over a month of court delays, the remaining 150 lawsuits filed against Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students cited in the Jan. 24 Boat Club raid are scheduled to be heard today in the St. Joseph County Small Claims Court.

Millennium Enterprises, the company that owns The Boat Club, filed suit last April against the 200 students cited in the raid and asks for damages of $3,000 per defendant.

The suits, which were originally scheduled for mid-August, were postponed by Superior Court Magistrate Richard McCormick to allow both sides time to file briefs, and for students to return to South Bend.

The Boat Club, represented by South Bend attorney Mitchell Heppenheimer, contends that the underage students fraudulently represented themselves and caused the bar to incur damages.

However, McCormick already dismissed about 40 of the 200 suits in August. Ed Sullivan, the attorney representing those students, said he believes that the remaining cases will likely be dismissed as well.

Because the suits are identical, McCormick’s reasons for throwing out some suits would apply to the other 150, according to Sullivan.

In his order granting the motion to dismiss, McCormick said that “It is difficult to see how [the] Plaintiff could prevail on the issue of damages as a proximate result of [the] Defendant’s conduct.”