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Judge rules against Duquesne basketball players in lawsuits over shooting

| Monday, April 1, 2013, 11:39 a.m.

The only way Duquesne University could guarantee that students wouldn't fall victim to crimes such as a September 2006 shooting that wounded five basketball players would be to turn its campus into an “armed camp,” a lawyer for the university said on Monday.

“That's really what this case is about,” Steve Zoffer said. “What types of responsibilities are we going to impose on our universities and schools?”

U.S. District Judge David Cercone on Saturday dismissed lawsuits from Stuard Baldonado, Shawn James and Kojoh Mensah, who claimed that lax security allowed two non-students to fire on them as they walked to their dormitories after a dance in the Black Student Union.

Teresa Toriseva, their lawyer, couldn't be reached for comment.

Cercone ruled that the university had no warning or reason to suspect someone would shoot the players and didn't promise to provide them with more security than was present at the dance.

Sam Ashaolu, a fourth victim, unsuccessfully sued the university in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Ronald Folino dropped the university from the lawsuit in February 2010 for the same reasons Cercone cited. The state Superior Court in May upheld Folino's ruling.

William Goodrich, Ashaolu's lawyer, couldn't be reached for comment.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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