A young man who claims he suffered from alcohol poisoning after playing beer pong on a supervised recruiting trip to Notre Dame de Namur University is suing the school for damages he claims resulted from the school negligently allowing underage drinking on its campus.
According to a lawsuit filed by Christian Ballow, he was 18 years old when pressured into drinking during a recruiting trip that led to his hospitalization after two students found him covered in feces and urine in a NDNU dorm restroom.
Ballow, a San Diego County resident, visited the Belmont campus in 2011 because he was recruited by Steve Dini, the school’s lacrosse coach at the time, and was offered an athletic scholarship, according to the suit filed Tuesday.
Ballow and his attorneys couldn’t be immediately reached for comment but, according to the lawsuit, the school should have known underage drinking was a problem on the campus and was negligent in hiring and entrusting Dini and two student hosts to protect Ballow during his visit.
NDNU cannot comment on pending legal matters, however, Dini no longer works at the university, said Richard Rossi, spokesman for NDNU.
After being picked up at the airport by Dini, Ballow claims he was escorted to the school’s cafeteria where he met members of the lacrosse team and was taken on a tour of the campus by NDNU appointed hosts.
Visitors of NDNU are always escorted while on tours and rarely stay overnight, Rossi said.
Later in the day, he attended a three-hour lacrosse practice and then visited a dorm room where several students were playing beer pong, according to the lawsuit.
While at the party, Ballow claims he was intimidated into playing and drinking beer with whiskey chasers, according to the lawsuit. About an hour later, his two hosts took him to a larger party at another dorm. At the behest of his hosts, Ballow said he drank four or five mixed rum drinks within half an hour. He was then taken to a nearby parking lot on the NDNU campus and was given more alcohol, according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Ballow doesn’t remember anything else until he awoke at a hospital the following morning.
After resting in a dorm room, he met with Dini and the assistant lacrosse coach who asked what happened and profusely apologized for what happened, according to the lawsuit.
Because of the night, Ballow alleges he was forced to attend a different school without a scholarship and has consequentially had to pay for tuition, books, food, room and board and the hospital bills he incurred.
Underage drinking is prohibited on NDNU campus and the school will retain legal counsel to respond to the lawsuit, Rossi said.
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