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Labor and Employment

Ex-U of Iowa Dean and GC Seek Damages for Firings Over Handling of Student Probe

Posted Feb 15, 2012 5:30 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A former longtime dean of students at the University of Iowa is seeking to join a former general counsel in litigation against the university and a private law firm, among other defendants, over the manner in which the two men handled a 2008 student sexual assault investigation.

Last month, a Johnson County District Court judge dismissed the wrongful termination and defamation suit brought by Phillip Jones. But now he and his lawyer, David Dutton of Waterloo, are appealing, the Press Citizen reports.

They contend that by placing too much blame on Jones, university officials and the Stolar Partnership tortiously interfered with his future business opportunities. The judge, however, found that Jones, as an at-will employee, could not sue for wrongful termination and that the university and law firm had immunity against defamation claims, according to the article.

Meanwhile, a similar case brought by former general counsel Marcus Mills has been transferred to federal court. It is expected to go to trial at the end of the year.

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