Court Hands ESPN, Others a Victory in Case Involving Exhumation of George Gipp

May 9, 2008

A state court judge in Michigan has dismissed a lawsuit brought by relatives of famed Notre Dame football player George Gipp, finding that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue.
Plaintiffs Karl and Ronald Gipp, who are cousins, alleged that they were subjected to “extreme shock, fright, humiliation and mortification” after the “illegal” exhumation of Gipp, which also allegedly disturbed the remains of the player’s sister.
Despite those claims, Circuit Court Judge Garfield W. Hood granted summary judgment to the defendants, which included Gipp’s great-nephew Rick Freuh, Gipp biographer Michael Bynum, ESPN and others
ESPN filmed the exhumation on Oct. 4, 2007 for a proposed segment on its “E: 60” series in hopes of proving whether Gipp fathered a daughter with an 18-year-old high school student.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Torger Omdahl said his clients would appeal the ruling, arguing that the judge gave no reason for ruling that they had no standing to sue.


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