Touchdown Tommy has been one of the University of Miami's most memorable traditions since 1945. After each Canes football score, members of the Sigma Chi fraternity fire a small cannon in celebration. Seniors shoot blanks out of the wheeled piece of artillery in the corner of Sun Life Stadium, near the end-zone.
But according to a complaint filed on November 15, the bro life didn't agree with Steven Murphy. While photographing a game against USF last year, he was shot by the cannon and severely injured. The 62-year-old is suing the fraternity for damages in excess of $15,000 because the blast caused him hearing loss and "loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life." He claims the bros weren't properly trained to use the cannon and that they didn't warn him to move out of the way.
Brandon Gross, the assistant director at the University of Miami's Student Center Complex, said that the international chapter of the fraternity was currently handling the case. He also said that Murphy walked in front of the cannon, although he declined further comment. Murphy declined the opportunity to explain how he ended up being hit by a cannon, and staff members at Sigma Chi's Illinois headquarters could not be reached this week.
Furthermore, the plantiff's attorney, Sean Clearly, declined to comment until depositions were taken. He says, though, that his client is permanently injured.
Another unnamed person was also hit by artillery that day, according to the complaint. Touchdown Tommy is currently maintained by Cannon Master Alexander Ostbye.
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