Camper's family sues over Camp DASH mismanagement

Purdue is facing a lawsuit over a nutritional study that was disbanded last summer.

Posted: Nov 24, 2018 12:13 AM
Updated: Nov 24, 2018 12:14 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Purdue is facing a lawsuit over a nutritional study that was disbanded last summer.

We reported in 2017 the school shut down Camp DASH on campus, after several reports of fights and harrassment among campers.

Now, the family of one of the campers is suing the school for causing "substatial emotional trauma." They say the girl was filmed in the shower without her knowledge by another camper, and the video was posted to social media.

That was two days before the camp was shut down.

It was also one of several incidents reported at the camp. Those included reports of harrassment, sexual activity, and one incident where a camper choked another.

According to the lawsuit, those running the trial failed to screen other campers for behavioral issues.

What's more, it says the staff had no required training on how to handle social or behavioral issues in the study participants. All of those studied were between the ages of 11 and 15.

The family alleges Purdue and Indiana University, which helped with the research, were slow to pull the plug on the camp due to concerns of losing funding. The $8.6 million study was paid for in part by a grant from the National Institute of Health.

The lawsuit was first filed in October. We reached out to Purdue for a comment. A spokesperson said in part "The university has acknowledged that mistakes were made regarding the operation of the residential camp associated with the study. It will continue to work in good faith to remedy any adverse impacts sustained as a result of those events." He also directed us to the school's original assessment and letter on the incidents at the camp, which can be found here.

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