Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration; Athletics Operations; Athletics & Sports; Practice of Higher Education Law
Campbell v. California University of Pennsylvania and Hjerpe
Memorandum Opinion affirming Preliminary Objections to Appellant’s First Amended Complaint. Appellant and his girlfriend, who were beaten unconscious following an altercation with six members of the California University of Pennsylvania (CUP) football team, alleged that CUP and its athletic director negligently “introduc[ed] violent individuals into the University community, and, by giving these players various forms of special treatment. . . created and fostered a negative and dangerous football culture” that led to the violent altercation. Appellant tried to overcome sovereign immunity by arguing that CUP could not avail itself of the protections of statutory immunity for acts and omissions related to the football team, since such actions were “neither in furtherance of the University’s statutorily defined mission, nor an exercise of its statutorily defined powers.” Rejecting this argument, and deeming the University’s football team to be an “appendage of the University itself,” the court dismissed the matter as being barred by sovereign immunity.