A former Duquesne University basketball player who was shot after a school dance in 2006 doesn't have a legal cause to recover damages from the school, U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone ruled Saturday.
Shawn James, of New York, sued to have the university pay for the pain and loss of income caused by the shooting after a Black Student Union dance that drew many non-student guests.
A group of those guests grew jealous when the ex-girlfriend of one of their number was seen walking with the basketball players. Two members of that group, who attended the dance, pulled out handguns and fired on the basketball players some 200 yards from the student union.
Mr. James was shot in the foot.
By 2009 he had recovered to the extent that he was playing professional basketball in Israel.
Judge Cercone found that Duquesne provided security at the dance, and met its legal obligations.
"It cannot be questioned that [Mr. James] suffered a serious injury and has experienced a significant level of trauma and harm from the events that unfolded," Judge Cercone wrote. "And since that time every parent of a student at school savagely has been reminded of the importance of campus security in today's world. ... But the law recognizes that as a general matter redress for injury from such behavior is reserved to the measures of collective society and responsibility for such barbarous and heinous acts can be imposed only under limited circumstance which are not satisfied here."
He granted Duquesne University's motion for summary judgment, ending the case.
Judge Cercone also granted the university's motions for summary judgment dismissing two very similar lawsuits.
One was filed by Kojo Mensah, who was shot in the shoulder in the incident, and ended up playing basketball in South America. the other was filed by Stuard Baldonado, who was shot in the back.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.