UF officials dismissed from several counts in lawsuit
Counts pertaining to defamation, due process & racial discrimination remain
By Sarah Stubbs
In the lawsuit that was filed against the University of Findlay on Dec. 23, 2015 by two former student athletes: Alphonso Baity and Justin Browning, U.S. District Judge James G. Carr has dismissed several UF officials and faculty from some of the counts initially filed against them.
The dismissals were granted on April 26.
Browning and Baity were dismissed from UF on Oct. 3, 2014, following a sexual assault investigation that began on Oct. 1 when the incident was reported. The alleged sexual assault took place ten days prior to the victim’s reporting of the incident.
The initial lawsuit filed counts against the University of Findlay Board of Trustees, Dave Emsweller, Brandi Laurita, Matthew Bruskotter, Rachel Walter, Ken Walerius, Brian Treece, Breanna Miller, and the alleged victim who is referred to as “M.K.” on claims that there was no due process in the investigation that resulted in Browning and Baity’s dismissals.
The lawsuit calls the investigation a “sham,” claiming that not all parties with knowledge about the night’s events were interviewed and that those who were interviewed were mostly white females. Baity and Brown claim that they were not properly represented.
The lawsuit is still in pending litigation, but Emsweller, VP of student affairs, confirmed to the Pulse that several individuals have been dismissed from some counts, but other counts still remain.
All of the counts against Brian Treece, the then director of residence life at UF, have been dismissed from the case.
Count X, “negligent infliction of emotional distress,” has been dismissed entirely from the case.
Counts I, III, V, VI, and XI have been dismissed from Dave Emsweller, Brandi Laurita, Matthew Bruskotter, Rachel Walter, Ken Walerius, and Breanna Miller.
Count I deals with racial discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, count III is gender discrimination in violation of Title IX, count V is breach of contract, count VI is promissory estoppel, and XI is declaratory judgment.
Judge Carr has also dismissed the University of Findlay Board of Trustees from all counts as the University is a private university and UF has never “endowed its board and trustees with the capacity to sue and be sued,” according to the citation.
Counts II, IV, VII, VII, and VIII still remain. Count II deals with racial discrimination; IV, violation of due process and equal protection; VII, negligence and negligent training; and VIII, defamation.