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Update: Joint Statement Filed in Alumnus’s Lawsuit Against Administration

A joint statement was filed Wednesday evening by the two parties in an ongoing lawsuit brought by an alumnus against Boston College alleging that the University mishandled sexual assault charges levied at the alumnus. The case has been remanded to the Massachusetts District Court by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The filing was made in response to a July 19 order by Judge Denise Casper for the parties to propose how they wanted to proceed.

Neither the University nor the plaintiff’s lawyers could be reached for comment.

When the incident originally occurred, the plaintiff, identified only as “John Doe” in court documents, was reporting on an event for The Heights.

The First Circuit remanded the case on two claims: breach of contract and fairness. The plaintiff would like the interpretation of fairness in the case to be as broad as possible, while the University is pushing for a more narrow definition. In addition, the University is asking for damages to be limited—the plaintiff sued for $3 million for expenses, lost earnings, diminished earning potential, reputational injury, and emotional injury. BC wants potential awarded damages limited to the plaintiff’s economic loss from his suspension—that would include tuition and any effects on Doe’s “employment opportunities and earnings,” according to the filing.

The University also asked for the lawsuit trial to be a bench trial rather than a jury one. The First Circuit Court remanded the case to district court for a jury trial, which is what the plaintiff has requested take place—the plaintiff’s lawyer cited the circuit court decision and the Seventh Amendment in his argument. The University is arguing that the “matter would be remanded to the College to conduct a new hearing which meets Doe’s contractual expectations and affords him basic fairness” if the bench ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

The sides concluded the filing by asking for a meeting with Casper to determine exactly how the case should be tried. On Monday afternoon, a hearing date was set for Sept. 20.

After the lawsuit was originally filed, Casper ruled in favor of BC, leading to Doe’s appeal to the First Circuit.

Update (8/6/18, 7:39): This story originally stated that the date of a follow-up hearing was “currently unclear.” This update reflects that the hearing date has been set for Sept. 20.

August 3, 2018

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