Judge blasts both sides in Lehigh grad’s $1.3M case, doubts he has power to order a ‘B’ gradeHome
Trials & Litigation
Judge blasts both sides in Lehigh grad’s $1.3M case, doubts he has power to order a ‘B’ grade
By Martha Neil
Feb 13, 2013, 12:42 pm CST
A Pennsylvania judge was clearly not happy about his role in a Lehigh University graduate's $1.3 million suit over a C+ grade in a fieldwork class for her master's degree in counseling.
Questioning whether he even has the equitable power to order the university to award the B grade plaintiff Megan Thode needed to continue in the program, Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano said during trial Wednesday that he is "unconvinced that the judiciary should be injecting itself in the academic process," the Allentown Morning Call reports.
The judge suggested that the parties should settle by allowing Thode to retake the course, but at least one of the two parties rejected that idea.
Thode, who is represented by attorney Richard J. Orloski, got a master's degree in a related field from Lehigh, but says her employment prospects were adversely affected. She asserted claims for breach of contract and gender discrimination.
Nicholas Ladany, who served as director of the counseling degree program when Thode was a student, said he gave her a C+ because she was unwilling to listen and lacked self-reflection, skills which are critical in a licensed counselor.