A lawsuit filed recently in the Lane County Circuit Court is attempting to hold the University of Oregon and other entities responsible for several negative effects that a former basketball player claims to have suffered as a result of the university dismissing him from the school. The case all started when the former player and two others were accused of sexual assault in 2014.
In response to the sexual assault against the former player, the school dismissed him in June of 2014. The dismissal also barred the man and two other players from the campus for four to 10 years. The lawsuit asserts that the former player didn't commit the sexual assault. No criminal charges were filed regarding the alleged sexual assault because of actions and statements by the alleged victim that were considered conflicting.
The 18-page $7.5 million lawsuit claims that the university denied the former player of his right to due process when he was unfairly suspended. It alleges that the former player suffered emotional distress, loss of future income, professional harm and a lesser chance of being able to play in the NBA. It goes on to note that the former player was refused several rights that are provided by the Constitution. Companies who are dealing with allegations of sex-related events should ensure that they aren't violating the rights of any party while they are investigating the matter or doling out the penalties.
In response, the university issued a statement claiming that the university complied with all the legal obligations it had in the case. The statement said that the university will present a vigorous defense in the case.
As we discussed in several previous blogs, allegations of unwanted sexual activities can have significant impacts on businesses. This case shows that the unwanted sexual contact is sometimes associated with incidents that are up for debate. Just as the school is presenting a defense against this former basketball player's allegations, businesses who take action regarding a sexual harassment complaint might have to do the same.
Source: Oregon Live, "Dismissed basketball player Brandon Austin files $7.5 million lawsuit against University of Oregon, others," Tyson Alger, Oct. 30, 2015