Federal judge dismisses lawsuits filed by three former basketball players against UO
** This post has been updated to reflect responses from the former players and their attorney
Federal Judge Michael McShane of the district of Oregon dismissed multiple lawsuits Thursday, Sept. 8 filed by three former University of Oregon basketball players last year court documents show.
All three players, Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, were expelled and banned from campus for allegedly raping a female student in March 2014. They later filed lawsuits stating that university officials were biased towards their cases and violated their rights. They were seeking $10 million and $7.5 million in their lawsuits.
Attorneys for the university sought dismissal of the lawsuits on Aug. 9, 2016, stating that the university has a duty to respond to alleged sexual assault on campus, in accordance with federal Title IX protections. The university attorneys also argued the plaintiffs, under legal advisement, chose an administrative conference, partly because expulsion was removed as a possible sanction, according to court documents.
“That said, nothing in the complaint or incorporated documents suggests that the actions of the University were motivated by gender bias or that the University deprived Plaintiffs of a due process right,” the court document said.
This is the latest episode of lawsuits surrounding the alleged rape case of the three former basketball players in March 2014.
Since then, the university has settled with the alleged victim for the amount of $800,000 and a full-ride scholarship. The university also settled with two former counseling center employees for $425,000 in July. About the same time, director of the University Testing and Counseling Center Shelly Kerr was fined by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners for failing to take reasonable precautions to protect the student’s confidential mental health information.
It appears as though this series of cases is not over. According to The Oregonian, the plaintiffs’ lawyer Alex Spiro said, “We are redrafting the pleadings and moving forward with the case pursuant to court’s decision.”
Because the former players’ claims were dismissed without prejudice, they can be appealed within the next 30 days.
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